Tatyana Glebovna RAUTIAN


T.G. Rautian in spring 2006
(click for enlarge)

Alive classic of seismology was born on April 7, 1926, at Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia in family of hereditary Russian intellectuals. Her parents, Gleb Rautian (1889-1963) and Lidiya Deomkina (1900-1994) were physicists, specialists on optical glass and color vision, doctors of sciences and well-earned figures of USSR science. They worked whole life untill the lasts hours of their lifes.

Since 1945 to 1950 Tatyana was a student in Leningrad University, on branch, conservatively named as "construction of material" that means the nuclear physics. However, nuclear physics disgust for Tatyana and she was retrained in seismology being research fellow in Garm Seismic station in 1951 1956, then in Garm Seismological Expedition in 1956 1961. In 1957 she has got the diploma of seismologist in her "alma mater", Leningrad University on her own method of determination of epicentres using inverse temporal field, which there was in use in Complex seismological expedition (CSE) of Garm from the beginning of computer era. Let's mark that the first great (really great :-) computers on electric tubes had two kilobytes memory and the accuracy of determination of epicentre on computer was lower than manual evaluation, since the details of environment model were omitted.

T. G. Rautian defended her M. Sc. in Physics at University of Leningrad, Russia in 1951. She became Ph.D. in Geophysics, at the Moscow State University, Russia in 1962.


Her thesises on fading the seismic waves in cortex and earthquake energy classes Tatyana has protected in Moscow State University in 1962. Amongst scientific themes, which Tatyana made with her husband Vitaly, there was creation syntetic seismograms of strong earthquakes in CSE, which correspond to particularities of real conditions in concrete origin zones and conditions of wave propagation on concrete traces. They have developped several strategies based on real observations. Regrettably, designers of antiseismic buildings did not get ready to use this idea and they continue to use primitiv steady-state model based on pair wave forms of American strong earthquakes, absolutely unalike on Central Asian quakes. At other case they construct formal wave forms without looking on real variety of spectra, duration and other important factors.

In 1961 she became vice-chef of that Expedition until 1967. Since 1968 to 1970 she was research director of Tajik Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (TISS). During a long time between 1971 and 1992 she was leading scientist of Garm Seismological Expedition. After crushing of the USSR and destroying seismological infrastructure during civil war in Tajikistan Ph.D. Rautian and her husband Vitaly were invited to staff of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, USA, and they were in research staff during 1993 2005. Being in Lamont at old age they did not tear in professial positions, and their positions allowed them to work peacefully and to leave after themself accumulated during a half centure scientific experience for future generations.

Her husband, Vitaly Khalturin (1926 2007) is well-known seismologist too. Her brother Sergey Glebovich Rautian (1928) is a famous scientist also, ass. member of Russian Academy of Sciences, optometrist, quantum physicist, nonlinear optometrist. Her niece Mary S. Rautian (1952) is a famous Russian microbiologist. Her nephew Alexander Rautian is paleontologist in the Moscow University.

Her and Vitaly's children are natives of Central Asia. Helen, Irina and Olga were born in Tajikistan, Zoya and Maya were born in Kazakhstan. Helen (Yelena) is employee of Obninsk Seismological Observatory, Irina lives in California. Maya is a journalist, last 10 years she works in russian newspaper "Chas" ("Hour") in Riga, Latvia, and she writes about culture. Beside Tatyana and Vitaly have 8 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Dr. T.G. Rautian is a citizen of Russia. Now she retired and lives in her childrens family in Palo-Alto, USA.


1. Developing of the graphical method of converted isochron system for hypocenter determination. Method is fit for any certain 3D velocity model of the media, practically applied in Garm Expedition.

2. Developing of the Energy-class scale (K) for quantifying earthquakes at regional distances. K used at almost all the regional networks in former USSR from 1960-th till now. Almost 100% events have the K values catalogued. The energetic approach of T. G. Rautian has indeed more wide application and greater importance. Refusal of magnitude scales and unification of seismic measurements by transition to pure physical units give possibility of correct manipulation and true evaluation of tectonic processes parameters.

3. Developing of the method of hypocenter determination from data of single station for any certain 3D model. The method was used for seismicity study at Cuba in 1978. Recent observation by network confirms the pattern of seismicity obtained by this method. The subduction zone (less then 50 km wide, 90 km deep) near Guantanamo was found.

4. The attenuation of macroseismic intensity was studied at hypocenter distances from 3 to 1000 km. The macroseismic magnitude MMC scale was created with its relations to M.

5. The Q parameter with its dependence upon frequency (20 sec 40 Hz) from coda (lapse-time 20 sec 10,000 sec) was estimated. It was found that coda attenuation curve consists of segments correspondent to the upper and crystal crust and for upper mantle.

6. The pioneering method was established for estimation P and S wave attenuation with high accuracy, separately for each profile of epicenter. Only one station needed. Method uses coda amplitude level as a basic value.

7. The pioneering method of determination of earthquake source spectrum was created from spectral content of seismic coda.

8. T. G. Rautian has discovered that most earthquakes (in some region all of them) have two corner frequencies. The higher one f2 corresponds to braking small barrier, the lower one originate to displacement along the preexisted weak fault. The energy, seismic moment, size and stress were calculated to each of these two parts of source process. The unique catalog was completed of spectral and source parameters for more than 2,000 earthquakes with M 2.5-7.

9. The pattern of stress seismically active media was found in various regions in Central Asia; It was found, that the values of barrier stress have an upper limit, the same for large and small earthquakes. It differs strongly at small areas (from 10-20 to 1,000-3,000 bar). The stress at the weak part of source is small: never more then 20 bars. The values as low as 0.05-0.1 bar were observed in many cases. Only very few earthquakes (Gazli aftershocks) have the barrier stress high enough to be the originated by breaking virgin-strong rock (1-3 Kbar).

10. The method of modeling the strong motion of large earthquake was created, basing on the statistics of waveforms, spectral content of small events and the scaling law of source spectra, obtained from observations.

11. The multifactor model of the variation of magnitude was developed. The contribution of each factor such as epicentral region, observation region, wave path, local site effect and random scattering was measured. The method allows estimating the real accuracy of magnitude determination.

Last update: November 25, 2007

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