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Terms of Reference

The Inter-Commission Committee on Theory (ICCT) was formally approved and established after the IUGG XXI Assembly in Sapporo, 2003, to succeed the former IAG Section IV on General Theory and Methodology and, more importantly, to interact actively and directly with other IAG entities, namely commissions, services and the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS). In accordance with the IAG by-laws, the first two 4-year periods were reviewed in 2011. IAG approved the continuation of ICCT at the IUGG XXIII Assembly in Melbourne, 2011. At the IUGG XXIV Assembly in Prague, 2015, ICCT became a permanent entity within the IAG structure.

Recognizing that observing systems in all branches of geodesy have advanced to such an extent that geodetic measurements (i) are now of unprecedented accuracy and quality, can readily cover a region of any scale up to tens of thousands of kilometres, yield non-conventional data types, and can be provided continuously; and (ii) consequently, demand advanced mathematical modelling in order to obtain the maximum benefit of such technological advance, ICCT (1) strongly encourages frontier mathematical and physical research, directly motivated by geodetic need and practice, as a contribution to science and engineering in general and theoretical foundations of geodesy in particular; (2) provides the channel of communication amongst different IAG entities of commissions, services and projects on the ground of theory and methodology, and directly cooperates with and supports these entities in the topical work; (3) helps IAG in articulating mathematical and physical challenges of geodesy as a subject of science and in attracting young talents to geodesy. ICCT strives to attract and serve as home to all mathematically motivated and oriented geodesists as well as to applied mathematicians; and (4) encourages closer research ties with and gets directly involved in relevant areas of Earth sciences, bearing in mind that geodesy has always been playing an important role in understanding the physics of the Earth.


The overall objectives of the ICCT are
• to act as international focus of theoretical geodesy
• to encourage and initiate activities to advance geodetic theory in all branches of geodesy
• to monitor developments in geodetic methodology
To achieve these objectives, ICCT interacts and collaborates with the IAG Commissions, GGOS and other IAG related entities (services, projects).

Program of Activities

The ICCT's program of activities include
• participation as (co-)conveners of geodesy sessions at major conferences such as IAG, EGU and AGU,
• organization of Hotine-Marussi symposia,
• initiation of summer schools on theoretical geodesy,
• and maintaining a website for dissemination of ICCT related information.