NSMP first generation SEED metadata available at the NCEDC

February 15th, 2012

February 15th, 2012

The NCEDC has completed the first generation of SEED metadata for instrumentation operated by the USGS National Strong Motion Project. The response information is available in various standard formats. Metadata is present for the history of each channel back to the installation of digitally recording equipment. It required careful assignment of SEED location codes to all NSMP channels to differentiate similar channels in structures. It also required review of historical records to assign serial numbers to all sensors and dataloggers. Unfortunately, sensitivities and response information are not known for some analog dataloggers, such as Kinemetrics SMA-1 recorders. The NSMP will continue efforts to document the response of historic stations, and the NCEDC will update response information to reflect changes in currently operating stations as received.

SWC - perl program for downloading waveform data from the NCEDC

May 18th, 2011

May 18th, 2011

The NCEDC is pleased to announce the introduction of the Simple Waveform Client (SWC), a command-line program for easily dowloading waveform retrieval from the NCEDC Archive and NCEDC DART (Data Available in Real Time). The NCEDC Simple Wave Client (SWC) and and companion program Simple Wave Server (SWS) at the NCEDC provide a simple interface for retrieving segments of continuous or event time series data in MiniSEED format. Data can be requested by SEED Station, Network, Channel, Location, time interval, and/or eventid.

SWC is a perl program and accomanying perl module that runs on Linux, Solaris/Unix, and MacOS systems. The NCEDC provides 2 Simple Wave Servers:

  • an sws server for archived data in the NCEDC Data Archive
  • an sws server for real-time data in the NCEDC DART (Data Available in Real Time)

Dataless SEED volumes with complete metadata for all channels are available by FTP or HTTP from the NCEDC Metadadir Directories which are organized by network code.

The swc program can be downloaded from the swc program directory. After downloading the distribution file, install the program with the following steps:

    tar xvf swc-dist-108.tar
    cd swc-dist-108
    perl INSTALL_SWC.pl

You will be prompted for several options for personal vs system-wide installation.

The syntax for the swc program is shown below.

swc  [-h] [-M] [-T|-K] [-f starttime [ -t endtime | -s timespan ]]  
	[-E eventid -D eventid_domain] [-o - | outputfile] [-e] [-d N]  
	[-S server] [-H hostname ][-P port] sncl1 ... snclN
    -h      Help - prints this help message.
    -I      Request channel Inventory (menu list) instead of waveform data.
    -T|-K   Trim waveforms to specified time (-T) or Keep data from records 
            within specified time interval (-K).  Default is -T.
    -f starttime

            Start time of waveform.
            The date and time are specified in a single string, and can
                 can be provided in one of several formats:
                The date must be fully specified.  The time portion is optional,
                and may be specified to hour, minute, second, or subsecond
    -t endtime
            End time of waveform.
    -s timespan
            Timespan of request.  Timespan is an integer string terminated 
            with one of the following characters (case sensitive).  
            If no terminater character is used, seconds are assumed.
                        S = seconds     d = days
                        M = minutes     m = months
                        H = hours       y = years
    -E eventid
            Specify an eventid for retrieving event waveforms.  
            Not all Simple Waveform Servers support retrieval by event.  
            The NCEDC DART does NOT know about events.
    -D event_domain
            Specify the domain for the eventid (NC or SC).
    -o - | outputfile
            Specifies an explicit output file, or '-' for stdout.  
            If this option is not specified, an output 
            file based on the SNCL and date_time will be created.
    -e    Output event data into a directory 
            instead of the current directory.  Does NOT override '-o' option.
    -S servername
            Generic name of waveform server. Valid servernames are:
                dart, ncedc_archive.
            Default servername is ncedc_archive.  See .swc-init.pl file 
            in home directory for configuration.
    -H hostname
            Explicit hostname or IP address of waveform server.
    -P portnumber
            Port number or port name of server.  Default port number is 4999.
    -d N    Debug value.  Current values are:
            1 = display request and response.
    sncl1 ... snclN
            A list of one or more SNCL-strings, each containing 
            dot-separated sections:
            Each section may be a single component (eg BKS) or a
	    comma-delimited list of components such as BKS,CMB or HHE,HHN,HHZ.
	    If any section contains a comma-delimited list, the SNCL-string is
	    expanded to multiple SNCLs by performing a cross-product of the
	    each components the the section with every other other section of
	    the SNCL-string.  For blank location codes, you may optionally
	    omit the .Location portion of the SNCL-string.
1.  Wildcard characters used within a SNCL must be quoted to avoid having the Unix/Linux shell 
    perform the wildcard expansion.   For Unix/Linux, use a backslash character before the  wildcard 
    character, or enclose the SNCL string in quotes.


1.  swc -S ncedc_archive -T -f 2010/02/24,05:15 -s 5M HOPS.BK.HHZ CMB.BK.HHZ

2.  swc -S ncedc_archive -T -f 2010.123,12:05:15.67 -s 5M 'HOPS,CMB.BK.BHE,BHN,BHZ.*'
       expands to the list of SNCLs:
                HOPS.BK.BHE.* HOPS.BK.BHN.* HOPS.BK.BHE.*
                CMB.BK.BHE.*  CMB.BK.BHN.*  CMB.BK.BHE.*
        The waveform server will perform the wildcard expansion.

3.  swc -S dart -T -f 2011.054,12:05:15.67 -s 5M 'CMB.BK.BHZ.*'

4.  swc -S ncedc_archive -E 71365875 -e

The NCEDC is a joint project of the University of California, Berkeley and the USGS, with facilities located at the University of California, Berkeley. Please send us email at ncedcinfo@ncedc.org or fill out our comments form if you have questions or comments about these changes.

MOBB - the first cabled broadband observatory for northern CA

February 27th, 2009

February 27th, 2009

The NCEDC is pleased to announce the real-time data from MOBB, the first cabled ocean bottom broadband seismic observatory off the coast of California.

The MOBB site is a joint project of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), located at 1000 meters depth off the coast of Monterey bay in northern California. It acquires and transmits real-time data from a Guralp broadband seismometer, a SIO/UCSD differential pressure gauge, and a Falmouth Scientific current meter over a 3.5 km extension cable that connects to the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) 52-km undersea cable off the coast of Monterey Bay in northern California. Data are directly transmitted to data collection nodes at MBARI and BSL, where they will be incorporated into the real-time monitoring system of the Northern California Seismic System (NCSS), a component of the California Integrated Seismic System.

The MOBB real-time data are archived by the NCEDC and available via all of the standard NCEDC data request methods.

More information about the MOBB/MARS system can be found at:

The MARS cable system is testbed for cabled ocean observatories, and is therefore a "work-in-progress". Certain items, such as the pulse-per-second signal used for precise timing, are still under development. Therefore, the accuracy of the timing of data from MOBB may vary over time.

The NCEDC is a joint project of the University of California, Berkeley and the USGS, with facilities located at the University of California, Berkeley. Please send us email at ncedcinfo@ncedc.org or fill out our comments form if you have questions or comments about these changes.

Changes to the NCSN/NCEDC catalog

July 18th, 2008

July 18th, 2008

The NCEDC has migrated all NCSN phase, catalog, and waveform information from ASCII files into the CISN database. This migration necessitated the following changes.

  • Formerly the catalog referenced historic events without waveforms for the period 1966/07 - 1998/12 using negative event ID numbers. During the migration of the catalog into the CISN database, all 228,690 negative event ID numbers were mapped to positive event ID numbers (download the file "2008-07-18.mapping" from http://www.ncedc.org/ftp/pub/doc/ncsn). In addition, on 2007/06/22 7,539 event ID numbers for earthquakes detected by NCSN real-time systems were reassigned to event ID numbers detected by the CUSP system but not yet reviewed by analysts. Most of the latter events are aftershocks of the San Simeon and Parkfield earthquakes. The association of the real-time arrival time data with the seismograms recorded by the CUSP system allows analysts to efficiently review these aftershocks and make the associated event waveform data available to the user community.
  • Channel names of seismograms (March 1984 - present) and phase data (July 1966 - present) have been mapped from a non-SEED Station Network Channel nomenclature to a SEED (Station Network Channel Location) nomenclature. The mapping of old (columns 9-12) to SEED (columns 127-129) is described in the NCSN Station List Format document. The channel name remapping includes another benefit besides the adoption of the standard SEED channel naming. We have deleted seismograms and phases from non-existent and discontinued stations, and we have renamed channels that were initially recorded under the wrong name. These now-corrected naming errors affected thousands of seismograms and phases, but probably did not corrupt many earthquake locations.
  • The NCSN/NCEDC catalog search interface now retrieves information from the NCEDC database rather than the original NCSN flat hypoinverse files.

The NCEDC apologizes for any inconvenience these changes cause. Please contact the NCEDC if you have any questions about these changes.

Bug corrected in building SEED volumes at the NCEDC

March 26th, 2008

March 26th, 2008

The NCEDC has discovered and has corrected a bug in its procedure that create SEED volumes from data at the NCEDC. Under certain circumstances, when users requested multiple segments of data for the same channel and day, the data retriever would only retrieve data for the first request segment for that channel and day, and silently ignore the other data segments requests for that channel and day.

The result is that users may not have received all of the available data when requesting multiple segments of data from the same data channel within one day. This affected both SEED volumes create for BREQ_FAST and NetDC data requests.

You may query the NCEDC waveform inventory using several methods:

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