Working Groups and Commissions

IAPSO is sponsoring/co-sponsoring Working Groups, Commissions and Services relevant to its prime goal of "promoting the study of scientific problems relating to the oceans and the interactions taking places at the sea floor, coastal, and atmospheric boundaries insofar as such research is conducted by the use of mathematics, physics, and chemistry."


  • Joint Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS)

The Joint SCOR/IAPWS/IAPSO Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS) is a permanent group with limited membership whose purpose is to act as an international "point of contact" for seawater questions. It is jointly sponsored by organizations directly concerned with the properties of seawater: the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam, and the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean.
JCS acts as a permanent source of expertise to its parent organizations, maintains a repository of knowledge and software for the scientific community (via a web-site,, and is also a conduit for any desired communications between its parents, and out to other international organizations like the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures), the WMO (World Meteorological Organization), and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). In addition, JCS may from time to time summarize progress in seawater-related issues to the community at large, and suggest areas where gaps exist in the available knowledge.

Prof. Rich Pawlowicz
Dept. of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia
Vancouver Canada
Email: rpawlowicz(at)

Vice Chairs:
Prof. Trevor McDougall
The School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia
Email: trevor.mcdougall(at)

Dr. Rainer Feistel
Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research
Rostock, Germany
Email: rainer.feistel(at)



  1. TEOS-10 manual 10jun 2010
  2. An historical perspective on the development of the Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater – 2010, Ocean Sci., 8, 161–174, 2012
  3. Report on activities at JCS workshops, Greenwich, UK Sept. 2-3, 2013
  4. JCS Update, Presentation of Trevor McDougall to the GBM, Prague June 2015
  5. Activities Report June 2015-June 2017
  • Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT)

The IAPSO Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT) aims to support research into applications of sea level measurements. In addition to sponsoring meetings, the CMSLT is the body that the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level formally reports to.
The CMSLT has always had a policy of considering as members any researchers who express interest in the topics of mean sea level and tides.

Prof. Gary T. Mitchum
College of Marine Science, University of South Florida
S. Petersburg, USA
Email: mitchum(at)



Annual Report 2011

  • Tsunami Commission (Joint with IASPEI and IAVCEI)

The IUGG Tsunami Commission (IUGG/TC) is an Inter-Association Commission responsible for international coordination of tsunami related meetings, research, and publications. It is jointly sponsored by IASPEI, IAPSO and IAVCEI and was established at the 12th General Assembly of IUGG in Helsinki, Finland in 1960 to promote the exchange of scientific and technical information about tsunamis.

The IUGG/TC membership comprises an international group of scientists concerned with various aspects of tsunamis, including an improved understanding of the dynamics of generation, propagation and coastal run-up and the consequences to society of the tsunami hazard.

IUGG Tsunami Commission website contains the current information about the Commission activities and upcoming meetings.

Dr. Vasily V. Titov
Chief Scientist, NOAA Center for Tsunami Research
Sand Point. USA
E-mail: Vasily.Titov(at)

Vice-Chairs: Fumihiko Imamura (Japan) and Ahmet Yalciner (Turkey)
Secretary: Phil Cummins (Australia)

IAPSO representative:
Professor Efim Pelinovsky
Department of Nonlinear Geophysical Processes, Institute of Applied Physics
Russian Academy of Sciences
Novgorod, Russia
E-mail: pelinovsky(at); epelinovskiy(at); pelinovsky(at)



  1. Activities Report 1995-1997
  2. Activities Report 1999
  3. Activities Report 2009-2011
  4. Tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea 2000 B.C.-2000 A.D., Springer, 2000
  5. Activities Report 2011-2015
  6. Activities Report 2015-2017

Permanent Services

  • Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) is the internationally recognised global sea level data bank for long term sea level change information from tide gauges and also provides a wider Service to the sea level community.
The PSMSL was established in 1933 by Joseph Proudman who became its first Secretary. Since then, the PSMSL continues to be responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data. It is hosted by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Liverpool with funding provided by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. PSMSL operates under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Dr. Lesley Rickards
Director, Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level
Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Emails: psmsl(at), ljr(at)

IAPSO Liaison:
Prof. Philip L. Woodworth (UK)
Email: plw(at)



  1. Activities Report 1991 - 1995
  2. Activities Report 1999-2003
  3. 2004 Annual Report
  4. 2006 Annual Report
  5. Activities Report 2003-2007
  6. Activities Report 2007-2011
  7. Activities Report 2011-2015
  8. Activities Report 2015-2017
  • IAPSO Standard Seawater Service

The IAPSO Standard Sea-Water Service is the only internationally recognized standard for the calibration of salinity measurement devices. Its widespread use over 100 years of IAPSO history has been of great importance to the quality and comparability of salinity data worldwide. IAPSO continues to oversee the preparation of standard sea water and to encourage its use by all laboratories involved in salinity measurement. Demand for this service
continues to grow.
Initially, the standard sea-water was prepared under the guidance of the International Council for Exploration of the Seas, Copenhagen. In the early 1970's the operation was transferred to the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (IOS) in England. In 1989, with IAPSO's concurrence, a private company (Ocean Scientific International Limited) was set up with space and facilities provided by IOS. As a result, ampoules of standard sea-water continue to be available to the oceanographic community thorough this IAPSO service.

Dr. Richard Williams
Director, IAPSO Standard Seawater Service
Havant, United Kingdom
Email: osil(at)



  1. Activities Report 1991-1995 
  2. Activities Report 2009-2013
  3. Activities Report 2013-2017

Previously Funded

  • Commission on Groundwater Seawater Interactions

Discontinued in 2005

  1. Members
  2. Members by country
  3. Activities reports 2002
  4. Activities reports 2003
  5. Activities reports 2004
  • Commission on Sea Ice

Discontinued in 2003

  1. Activities Report 1991-1995
  2. Activities Report 1995-1999
  • IAG/ IAPSO Joint Working Group on Geodetic Effects of Nontidal Oceanic Processes (1999-2003)

Final report