Data Services Newsletter

Volume 16 : No 3 : Winter 2014

Federated services within seismology: the IRIS involvement in the COOPEUS Project

Developing world-class research infrastructures for environmental research is one of the top priorities of the European Union Research Infrstructures. The Cooperation Between Europe and the US (COOPEUS) project, funded under the Research Infrastructures action of the 7th Framework Program for Research and Innovation of the EU, brought together scientists and users involved in Europe’s major environmental related research infrastructure projects, i.e. EISCAT, EPOS, LifeWATCH, EMSO, and ICOS, with their US counterparts that are responsible for the NSF funded projects AMISREARTHSCOPE, DataONE, OOI and NEON.

COOPEUS data centers and their web services
Figure 1: Maps of the United States (left) and Europe (right) showing data center locations and the currently operational FDSN web-services offered.

The intention is that by interlinking these activities new synergies are generated that will stimulate the creation of a truly global integration of existing infrastructures. The key to this integration process will be the efficient access to and the open sharing of data and information produced by the environmental research infrastructures. This important crosscutting infrastructure category is subject to rapid changes, driven almost entirely outside the field of environmental sciences. Trends in this area include growing collaborations between computer and environmental scientists, leading to the emergence of a new class of scientific activity structured around networked access to observational information. Therefore links to running projects like ENVRI in Europe or EARTHCUBE in the US who are developing relevant architectures are indispensable. Considering this perspective the COOPEUS project will serve as a testbed for new standards and methods.

IRIS and UNAVCO, that operated the EarthScope facility on behalf of the NSF, are working directly with the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) to harmonize research infrastructures across the Atlantic. In seismology this effort has been the development of standardized web services through which seismic information can be discovered, accessed, and utilized.

Various services have been made operational at three centers in the US: IRIS, NCEDC and the USGS NEIC.

In Europe five locations have participated in deploying FDSN web services including ORFEUS, GFZ, ETHZ, RESIF and INGV.

The ISC has also deployed event web services. What this means is that identical web services (other than the root of the URL that points to the specific data center) exist at these 9 locations greatly easing the access to information in the federated system.

by Tim Ahern (IRIS Data Management Center)