On December 22nd, 2019, after a serious and prolonged illness, the Honorary Professor of St. Petersburg State University, Russia, Tatiana B. Yanovskaya, passed away. She was a worldrenowned seismologist who made significant contributions to the theory of seismic wave propagation and interpretation of seismological observations. Tatiana B. Yanovskaya was born on the 11th of August 1932 in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad), USSR, to the family of Prof. Boris M. Yanovsky, a prominent geophysicist, specializing in studying the Earth’s magnetism. For a half a year during the Second World War, the Yanovsky family lived in besieged Leningrad before evacuating to Tadzhikistan. After their return from evacuation, Tatiana continued her education and graduated from high school cum laude (with gold medal) in 1949. She became a student of the Department of Physics at Leningrad State University (LGU). After graduating from LGU in 1954 she worked at the Seismological Station “Pulkovo” near Leningrad, and from 1960 to 1968 in the Leningrad branch of the Mathematical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences in a group studying dynamics of elastic media, led by Professor G.I. Petrashen. This group developed new technologies for the simulation of elastic wave propagation. Its participants, including T. Yanovskaya, were awarded the USSR State Prize in the field of science and technology for research in the theory and methods of calculating fields of seismic waves. In parallel, in 1958, she completed a PhD degree at the Institute of Physics of the Earth (IPE, Moscow), and defended her PhD thesis, “Methods for determining the source mechanism parameters from surface wave data,” under the supervision of Prof. E. Savarensky. During this period, she became a close collaborator of Prof. V. Keilis-Borok in developing new approaches in computational seismology, mostly in solving the inverse problems. She developed a methodology of inversion of observed data: travel times of body waves, phase and group velocity of surface waves in a 3D velocity structure of the Earth, with an evaluation of credibility of such models. In parallel, she investigated the peculiar wave propagation effects near caustics and in media with sharp vertical boundaries. Along with her students, she developed the original methodology for surface wave velocity tomography, widely used for studies of different regions of the Earth.
From 1968 until her death she worked at the Department of Earth Physics of Leningrad State University (SPbSU), initially as a senior research fellow, and since 1986 - as a professor. In 1972 she defended her DSci dissertation "Methods for solving the inverse problem of seismology and their application to the study of the transition zone of the earth's core." She was a brilliant lecturer and supervisor of many postgraduate students, creating her own school in seismology in SPbSU. She was internationally recognized as a prominent scientist in the field of seismic wave theory and analysis, as well as in studies of tsunamis. She participated in regular workshops on seismic wave generation and propagation in the Abdus Salam International Institute of Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. In 1997, she was elected to be a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. In 2002, the European Geophysical Society awarded her the Beno Gutenberg Medal for theoretical work related to the propagation of surface waves and tsunamis. She published 122 articles in scientific journals, five monographs and tutorials, and for many years she was a member of the Editorial Board of “Physics of the Earth”, Journal of Russian Academy of Sciences. On January 25, 2010 she was awarded the title “Honorary Professor of St. Petersburg State University.” During her last years of life, she continued to work, publishing papers in leading geophysical journals, and lecturing at the University. The bright memory of Tatiana Yanovskaya - a tireless laborer of science, a wonderful educator, a noble, kind person - will live on in the hearts of her colleagues and students.
Anatoli Levshin, Colorado University, Boulder, USA
Evgenia Lyskova, Saint Petersburg University, Russia