IHFC Statutes

(Initiated by the founding meeting at the IUGG 13th General Assembly in 1963)


The IHFC is a Commission of, and operates generally under guidelines set by, the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI). The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) and the International Association of the Physical Sciences of the Ocean (IAPSO) are cosponsors of and participate in the activities of the Committee.


The Objectives of the IHFC are to promote either alone or in cooperation with other international scientific organizations all aspects of geothermal research as they pertain to the missions of the parent and cosponsoring associations. Included in these activities are:

Developing and recommending standards and techniques for the determination of all parameters necessary to geothermal research, such as: thermophysical properties of materials, underground temperatures, quantification of geothermal energy resources, etc.

  • Gathering, estimating quality and publishing of heat flow density data as well as other geothermal data of interest.
  • Organizing or cosponsoring international scientific meetings and expeditions as necessary.
  • Initiating or cosponsoring the publication of monographs about specific aspects of geothermal problems.
  • Creating Working Groups (WG) as necessary for investigating and reporting on specific geothermal problems (see also III(d)).


(a) Officers (i) The IHFC shall have a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Vice-Secretary (who shall be the officers of the Commission), Working Groups and Members. (ii) The Chairman represents the IHFC at all times, unless the responsibility is specifically delegated to the Vice-Chairman on particular occasions. (iii) The Vice-Chairman assists the Chairman and acts for him when necessary. (iv) The Secretary manages the administrative affairs of the IHFC under the direction of the Chairman, documenting the proceedings of meetings, decisions taken, etc. (v) The Vice-Secretary assists the Secretary and acts as Treasurer of the IHFC.

(b) Bureau (i) The IHFC shall have a Bureau consisting of the Officers and the immediate Past-Chairman. (ii) The Bureau as a whole is responsible for acting on proposals recommended by the Executive Committee, and assists the Chairman and the Secretary by sharing the responsibility for promoting IHFC objectives on behalf of the Chairman.

(c) Executive Committee (i) The IHFC shall have an Executive Committee consisting of the Bureau and the Working Group leaders. (ii) The Executive Committee is responsible for taking the ideas expressed by Members collectively at a business meeting and formulating them into specific proposals for recommendations to the Bureau.

(d) Working Groups As required, WG's may be created to study specific problems of interest to the Commission. The Bureau will appoint a leader (Chairman), who must be a Commission member, of each WG; it is the responsibility of the Leader of the WG to recommend a Secretary (if necessary) and other suitable persons, who need not be members of the Commission, to be members of the Working Group. It is the responsibility of each WG leader to guide the work of the group according to the directions set by the IHFC and to report to the IHFC as required but not less frequently than at the time of a scientific General Assembly of the parent association (see also VI).

(e) Members Proposals for Membership shall be considered during the Main Business Meeting normally heal every four years in conjunction with the General Assembly of the IUGG (see also IV-VI).


All appointments of ordinary members of IHFC, and the officers and members of WG's, are for a period of 4 years only but reappointment for a further two periods may be made; after one term off the Commission or WG, a person may be reappointed under the normal procedures. Proposals for membership shall normally be made during the Main Business Meeting held in conjunction with the General Assembly of the IUGG (see also VI and VII(b)(iii)).

The appointment of each officer of IHFC is for a period of 4 years.

Under no circumstances will any Officer of the IHFC be elected for a second term in the same office.

Unless a majority of members present at a Main Business Meeting (see VI) request a vote, the outgoing Chairman of the IHFC will normally recommend to IASPEI the appointment of his current Vice-Chairman as the incoming Chairman, the current Vice-Secretary as the incoming Secretary, and the names of people to serve as the incoming Vice-Chairman and Vice-Secretary.


The Officers will constitute a Nominating Committee and, after consulting widely with the members, recommend

(a) Names of suitable people for the positions of Vice-Chairman and Vice-Secretary and (b) Names of people to be appointed, or reappointed, to membership of the Commission for the next term.

In selecting names under (b), the need for a suitable compromise between continuity and change should be recognized (see also VI(b)).


(a) Subsidiary Business Meetings

While it is recognized the Business Meetings of the whole Commission may be held as frequently as necessary or as opportunity arises, the Main Business Meeting shall be one held at the time of the General Assembly of the IUGG; it is recognized that the Main Business Meeting is normally held in two sessions, one near the beginning and one near the end of the General Assembly.

(b) Main Business Meeting

At the Main Business Meeting the Bureau will:

  1. Report on the progress of work over the preceding four years, including reports from WG leaders.
  2. After wide consultation with the Members of IHFC, propose the main program of work for the next four years; the work may require the formation or termination or continuation of WG's.
  3. Consider the report of the Nominating Committee and recommend to the IASPEI Bureau who make the formal appointments the names of:
    • New Members.
    • Members to be appointed for a further term.
    • Officers of the IHFC.
  4. the reports and actions taken under items (i), (ii), and (iii) will form the basis of the Principal Report of the Chairman to IASPEI.
  5. Reports may be received and actions taken at other Business Meetings but the reports will also be included in the Principal Report.