Inge Lehmann



Vladimir Keilis-Borok in a December 2011 file image outside his office on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, California. The seismologist and geophysicist who never wavered in his dogged pursuit of a method to accurately predict earthquakes died Saturday, October 19, 2013, at his Culver City, California, home after a long illness. He was 92. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Sydney Evans, Managing Editor

Born in Denmark May 13, 1888, danish seismologist Inge Lehmann studied shock waves and eventually discovered two parts to the Earth’s core. These findings were published in her 1936 paper.
This new discovery of a liquid and solid core has come to be known as the Lehmann discontinuity. Her hypothesis on the Earth’s core in 1936 was proved in 1970 by more sensitive seismographic instruments.
Earlier in her life she had attended a school in where boy and girls were treated equally, this was extremely influential in her becoming a pioneering women in a scientific field. Ater her initially success and finding, global interest in seismographic helped her to conduct research internationally.
After retiring from her position at the Geodetic Institute in 1953, she continued to research in the USA and Canada. Lehmann received the highest honor of the American Geophysical Union, the William Bowie Medal, in 1971.
In 1987, when she was 99 years old she wrote her final scientific article, “Seismology in the Days of Old”. Lehman died, age 104, on Feb. 21, 1993. Lehmann never married of had kids and left all her possessions to the Danish Academy.


“You should know how many incompetent men I had to compete with – in vain!”

–  Inge Lehmann