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History of Geology

Episodes 2023; 46(4): 679-688

Published online December 1, 2023


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The 29th International Geological Congress, Kyoto (1992): Geo-congress on island arcs

Hirokazu Kato, Michiko Yajima, Toshihiro Yamada*

The Japanese Association for the History of Geosciences

Correspondence to:*E-mail: tosmak-yamada@muf.biglobe.ne.jp

Received: January 1, 2022; Revised: November 28, 2022; Accepted: November 28, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The 29th International Geological Congress (IGC) was held from 24 August to 3 September 1992 in Kyoto, Japan, realising a long-time dream of the Japanese geological community stretching back to the 1930s. This was the first IGC held in East Asia. It was also the first IGC ever held in an island arc region, the most active zone on the Earth. Topical emphases were placed on the origin of the Solar system, the structural development of island arcs within the plate tectonics theory, and environmental issues including geohazards and natural resources of orogenic belts. Participants attending the congress numbered 4,293, representing 91 countries worldwide. Fifty-three fieldtrips were organized under such themes as island arcs tectonics, environmental geology, volcanoes and thermal fields, metamorphic belts, and so forth. The fieldtrips encompassed the Japanese Islands as well as the Philippines and Korean Peninsular with 1,046 participants. It should be noted that the period when the congress was held was a turning point in world history; being after the end of the Cold War, just after the Earth Summit, and at the dawn of the Internet Revolution.