IAS is a truly international association. It has about 2000 members from about 100 countries and National Correspondents in more than 50 countries. On 14 November 2016, IAS obtained a new legal status as an International Non-Profit Organization, under Belgian law. Founding members are Judith A. Mc Kenzie, Finn C. Surlyk, Adrian M. Immenhauser, Poppe L. de Boer, Vincenzo Pascucci and Marc A.O. De Batist.
IAS is an affiliated organization of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and has privileged partnerships with:
IAS publications include volumes of the journals Sedimentology, The Depositional Record, Basin Research and Petroleum Geology, newsletters, Special Publications, guidebooks for the International Sedimentological Congresses and regional meetings.
IAS publishes the journal Basin Research in collaboration with the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE).
On 1 September 1948, directly after the closing of the 18th International Geological Congress in London, UK, the British sedimentary petrologists, headed by P. Allen, arranged a meeting for the sedimentary petrologists who had participated in the Congress. P. Allen raised the following points for discussion: (a) is some sort of a international union in sedimentary petrology desirable? (b) Should some kind of international meeting of sedimentary petrologists be held regularly in the future?
At the International Geological Congress in Algeria in 1952, the International Association of Sedimentologists was formally founded.
In much of 1962 IAS's journal Sedimentology was first published, and in 1973 National Corrrespondents were appointed to represent sedimentologists in different countries.
At the start of 1972 there were about 700 members, 400 of whom took the journal Sedimentology.
Scientists of eminent distinction in sedimentology became eligible to receive the Sorby Medal, named in honour of H.C. Sorby (1826-1908), prominent sedimentologist, or were awarded Honorary Membership in the association.
Changes in the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's included the introduction of regional meetings, such as in Heidelberg, Germany and in Jerusalem, Israel and more recently Spain (2011), Austria (2012) and Great-Britain (2013).