Marek Grad (1951 - 2020)

 Marek Grad (1951 - 2020)

Marek Grad, Professor at the Institute of Geophysics, University of Warsaw, Poland, died suddenly on May 17, 2020, at the age of 68.

The Institute of Geophysics, University of Warsaw, was his primary affiliation. He was an academic teacher, lecturer, tutor and adviser for a large group of students, graduate students and doctors. He had been the director of this institute for many years. Alongside, he has closely collaborated with the Department of Lithospheric Research of the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, for over 40 years.

In the years 1997 – 2003 Marek Grad was a co-organizer and active participant in the great project of seismic research of the deep crustal structures and the lower lithosphere in Central Europe, from the Baltic to the Adriatic. These were great refraction seismic experiments commonly known as POLONAISE'97 (Polish Litosphere Onsets – An International Seismic Experiment, 1997) CELEBRATION 2000 (Central European Litospheric Experiment Based on Refraction, 2000), Sudetes 2003, GRUNDY 2003, and ALPS 2002 projects. All the main geological structures of the study area have been covered by a system of modern seismic profiles, with a total length of about 20,000 km. The research was carried out in cooperation with 35 scientific and industrial institutions from 15 European countries as well as the USA and Canada. A summary of the results was presented in the publication Crustal and lithospheric structures between the Alps and East European Craton from long-range controlled source seismic experiments, in: Gerald Schubert (editor in chief) Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd edition, vol. 1, Oxford: Elsevier; 2015, p. 557-586, authored by A. Guterch, M. Grad, G.R. Keller, and E. Brückl.

The results following from the above-mentioned seismic experiments, along with those obtained by other researchers in Europe, became the basis for the initiative undertaken by Marek Grad to develop a great synthesis of seismic studies of the Earth's crust of the entire European Plate, from the North Atlantic in the west to the Urals in the east and from the Arctic in the north to Mediterranean Sea in the south. The result of this synthesis is The Moho depth map of the European Plate, which was published in Geophysical Journal International, 2009, 176, p 279-292, authored by M. Grad, T. Tiira, and ESC Working Group. Marek Grad was the initiator, coordinator and principal investigator of this project.

Marek Grad did not limit his scientific interests to the area of Central Europe. He also actively participated in all seismic lithosphere studies of the polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctic − organized in 1976 – 2010 by the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences. Six geophysical expeditions to the Arctic were organized jointly with the scientific institutions of Norway, Germany, Japan and the USA, and five expeditions went to West Antarctica. The results, achieved with the active participation of Marek Grad, resulted in significant publications.

In recent years, the scientific interests of Marek Grad have further expanded; he organized a large project BB-13 – recognition of the structure of the Earth's crust and upper mantle in northern Poland, using broadband seismic stations, in the framework of the MAESTRO grant awarded to him.

Marek Grad's scientific achievements are significant. He is an author or co-author of about 300 publications, mainly in international journals and monographs. The importance of the results of his research is evidenced by numerous citations of his works (Scopus 5273, WoS 4232) and the Hirsh index H42.

Marek Grad has been awarded many times with individual and team awards by both the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Rector of the University of Warsaw, as well as some other honors, for his outstanding scientific achievements. In 2018, he was awarded the Professor Adam Dziewoński Medal, granted by the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences. Marek Grad has been a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences since 2004 and a foreign member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 1999.

Marek Grad was born in Grodzisk, Poland, on November 19, 1951. He graduated from the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, in 1975, and since then he has been working at the Institute of Geophysics of this university. He received PhD degree in the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences in 1981.

Marek Grad was survived by his wife Joanna and son Maciej.

Aleksander Guterch and Tomasz Janik, Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences