Kreemer Receives 2010 Geodesy Section Award

Corné Kreemer received the 2010 Geodesy Section Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of major advances in geodesy.


kreemer_corneIt is a great pleasure for us to cite Corné Kreemer for the 2010 Geodesy Section Award, which is awarded to early to middle—career scientists to recognize major advances in geodesy. Both of us have been very fortunate to have worked with Corné during this first phase of his career, starting with Bill Holt at State University of New York at Stony Brook and now with Geoff Blewitt at University of Nevada, Reno.

Although the official citation given at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting was necessarily very short to fit on the plaque, we would like to take this opportunity to provide a more detailed citation that reflects the diversity and depth of Corné’s contributions: In recognition of major innovations, discoveries, and scientific contributions in geodesy and its application to tectonophysics, as exemplified by (1) a novel technique to determine absolute plate motions independent of hot spots by joint inversion of space geodetic data and seismic shear wave splitting orientations; (2) the first empirical determination of present-day motion and deformation of the Colorado Plateau; (3) the discovery of an active shear zone connecting the Wasatch Front to the Eastern California Shear Zone; and (4) major advances in the development of the International Lithosphere Project’s Global Strain Rate Map.

The number of his publications in high-quality journals is staggering for someone still early in his career. Having obtained his Ph.D. as recently as 2001, he has 39 peer-reviewed publications, 30 of which are in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, including GeologyJournal of Geophysical ResearchGeophysical Research LettersTectonophysicsGeophysical Journal InternationalEarth and Planetary Science Letters,Journal of Geodesy, and Seismological Research Letters.

Corné Kreemer is a rising star in geodesy. With his stellar trajectory, the best part about this is that we know for sure that we are in for some pleasant surprises as he continues to find new ways to apply geodesy to tease the data and reveal more about our interesting planet.

Geoffrey Blewitt, University of Nevada, Reno; and WILLIAM HOLT, State University of New York at Stony Brook


I am honored to receive this award, and I feel deeply indebted to AGU, the Geodesy section, and those involved in the nominating process who bestowed on me this honor.

By good fortune, I embarked on a career in geophysics at the same time that GPS began to be used to measure plate motion and crustal deformation. Before I knew about GPS, I enjoyed a solid background in geophysics at Utrecht University, Netherlands. For my master’s thesis I began to use the new modeling tools developed by John Haines and Bill Holt. I started my Ph.D. project with Bill, utilizing the rapidly expanding database of GPS velocity measurements and John’s clever rewrite of the software to model strain rates worldwide. By doing things globally I was able to venture into directions that still fascinate me: earthquake statistics and absolute plate motions. It also got me in touch with Geoff Blewitt and his effort to create global GPS solutions.

Working with Xavier Le Pichon and colleagues in France provided a much needed chance to combine data from GPS, seismicity, and geology and to place models of surface deformation into the context of tectonic evolution, deeper deformation, and the driving forces. At the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), I found an exceptional group in which to broaden my skills and interests. Geoff’s ability to create GPS time series for thousands of stations around the world provides a chance to revolutionize our understanding of earthquakes, plate tectonics, and mass movement. My particular excitement comes from probing the subtleties in time-variable strain, the deformation in slowly deforming areas, and the role of the processes that lie below.

I wish to thank all whom I have had the honor to work with, the geodetic community for sharing data, my UNR colleagues for their support, and my wife and parents for their love and encouragement.

Corné Kreemer, University of Nevada, Reno