Data Services Products: EMC-News EMC News and Updates


News headlines on IRIS EMC development and changes.

Solicitation for feedback on the IRIS DMC’s next generation of the Earth Model Tools

The IRIS DMC is soliciting feedback and suggestions for enhancements to our Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) ( EMC has served as a community-supported repository of Earth models since 2011 and provides access to various Earth models in a uniform format (netCDF). Additionally, EMC provides multiple, web-based 2D visualization tools and downloadable 2D and 3D software tools for visualization and comparison. The EMC repository currently holds over 50 contributed models and 8 reference models. This model repository and related tools have proven quite popular, with regular usage and new model contribution.

As we plan the next-generation tools for EMC we would greatly appreciate input from the research community on which enhancements would be most useful. Ideas for new visualizations, new calculation capability, changes to existing interfaces, etc. are all welcome. For programmatic access, we will very likely be developing a web service interface to the model repository. Feedback on what features would be desirable from such an interface would also be welcome.

Please send your feedback and suggestions regarding the next generation of EMC tools to:


The IRIS EMC news headlines are listed in reverse chronological order.

Africa.ANT.Emry-etal.2018 (map), Emry, Shen, Nyblade, Flinders, and Bao (2018), 3D shear-wave velocity model of Africa from full-wave ambient noise tomography.

Converted 2D & 3D Earth model files from netCDF to GeoCSV

Release of the EMC-Tools on GitHub

Alaska-S+SW-2018 (map), Jiang, Schmandt, Ward, Lin, and Worthington (2018), 3D shear-wave velocity model of Alaskan upper mantle from the joint inversion of teleseismic S-wave travel-time residuals and Rayleigh wave dispersion.

Added Alaska.ANT+RF.Ward.2018 (map), Ward & Lin (2018), a 3D shear-wave velocity model of the Alaskan Cordillera from the joint inversion of ambient noise tomography and receiver functions.

Added iMUSH-MT (map), Bedrosian, Peacock, , Bowles-Martinez , Schultz, and Hill (2018), a three-dimensional electrical resistivity model for southwest Washington centered upon Mount St. Helens.

Added NorthernAppalachians_Moho2018 (map), Cong Li (2018), the Moho depths beneath the northern Appalachian Mountains were extracted from 5875 teleseismic P wave receiver functions using the common conversion point (CCP) stacking method.

Added NEUS-Vs2018 (map), Yand & Gao (2018), a 3-D shear-wave isotropic model for the northeastern United States from full-wave ambient noise tomography with resolvable depths down to 120 km

Added ANA2_P_2018 (map), Portner, Delph, Biryol, Beck, Zandt, Özacar, Sandvol & Türkelli (2018), a regional finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography model for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Added the CAM2016, model. Priestley & Ho (2016), is online. This model represents a group of global upper mantle models based on multi-mode surface wave tomography. All models are defined on a 2 degree by 2 degree grid. Vsv and Vsh models are given for several lateral smoothing lengths. The models determined with the shorter smoothing length are applicable to the shallower depths while the models determined with the larger smoothing length are more appropriate to the deeper depths.


Added the FWEA18 model, Tao, Grand and Niu (2018), model with its radial anisotropy confined to the uppermost mantle (above 220 km) is online. 1D Qmu model is fixed to QL6 (Durek & Ekström, 1996). All velocities are at 1 Hz.


Added 3D2017_09Sv. This model, Debayle, E., F. Dubuffet, and S. Durand (2016), is the current update of the background model 3D2015_10Sv up to September 2017.


OIINK_CUS_Moho2017 EMC model by Yang et al. (2017), is a Moho depth and crystalline crustal thickness model within the central United States and the footprint of the OIINK network derived from receiver function observations.


SEISGLOB2 global dVs model is online. Durand, Debayle, Ricard, Zaroli, & Lambotte (2017), is a global shear velocity tomographic model based on the joint inversion of S SS and ScS delay tomes, Rayleigh surface wave phase velocity perturbations and splitting and coupling coefficients of normal modes.

SEISGLOB1 global dVs model is online. Durand, Debayle, Ricard, & Lambotte (2016), is a pure Sv tomographic model based on the joint inversion of Rayleigh surface wave phase velocity perturbations and splitting and coupling coefficients of normal modes.


Moho_Temperature EMC model by Schutt, Lowry and Buehler (2017) provides latitude, longitude, temperature (°C), depth, Pn Velocity, temperature uncertainty (°C) at the base of the crust for the western United States.


APVC+Puna.ANT+RF.Ward.2017 EMC model by Ward, Delph, Zandt, Beck, and Ducea (2017), is a 3D shear-wave velocity model of the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex (APVC) and the Puna Plateau from the joint inversion of ambient noise tomography and receiver functions.


SGLOBE-rani EMC model by Chang & Ferreira (2015) is online. This is a global radially anisotropic shear wave speed model with radial anisotropy allowed in the whole mantle. It is based on a seismic data set of over 43M seismic surface wave (fundamental and overtones) and body wave measurements.


MEAN EMC reference Earth model based on the Earth model IASP91 is online.


SAM4_P_2017 EMC model by Portner, Beck, Zandt & Scire (2017) is online. SAM4_P_2017 is a regional finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography model for central Chile and Argentina. It uses relative arrival time residuals from 678 earthquakes recorded at 394 stations of a variety of temporary and permanent seismic deployments in Chile and Argentina.


EAV09 EMC model by Chang & van der Lee (2010) is online. EAV09 is a 3D shear-wave velocity model for western Eurasia, Arabia, and northern Africa based on multiple data sets including regional S and Rayleigh waveform fits, fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group velocities, teleseismic S and SKS arrival times, and independent Moho constraints.


Added SEUS-MT electrical resistivity model by Benjamin S. Murphy and G.D. Egbert (2017), a three-dimensional electrical resistivity model for the southeastern United States. Inverse solution was found using ModEM.


Web Visualization Tools”: upgraded to GMT 5. Contour option has been added to the horizontal slice and cross-section viewers.


Upgrade Web Visualization Tools to to Python 3


Added 3D2016_09Sv. This model, Debayle, E., F. Dubuffet, and S. Durand (2016), is the current update of the background model 3D2015_07Sv up to September 2016.


Added SEMum_NA14. This model is an isotropic and radially anisotropic Vs model for the North American upper mantle which took advantage of the USArray TA deployment (Yuan et al., 2014).


Added BO.ANT+TPWT.Ward.2016. This model, Ward, Zandt, Beck, Wagner and Tavera (2016), is a 3D shear-wave velocity model of the Bolivian Orocline (BO) from the joint inversion of ambient noise tomography and two-plane wave tomography.


Added PnUS_2016. This model, Buehler & Shearer (2016), is a Pn tomography model for the contiguous United States. Model parameters include isotropic Pn velocity, anisotropy, vertical velocity gradient, and crustal thickness.


Added 3D2016_03Sv model. This model, Eric Debayle, Fabien Dubuffet, Stéphanie Durand (2016), is the latest Sv wave model of the upper mantle and transition zone (see 3D2015_10Sv).


Added US.2016, Shen & Ritzwoller (2016), a 3D shear-wave velocity model of the US from joint inversion of surface wave dispersion from ambient noise and earthquakes, Rayleigh wave H/V ratio, and receiver functions.


All model netCDF files are checked for CF-Convention Compliance and are updated as needed.


Added OIINK_VS_model, Chen et al. (2016), this is a shear wave velocity model derived from Rayleigh wave phase velocities recorded by the OIINK Flex Array and Transportable Array stations in the central United States.


Added WUS-CAMH-2015, Chai, Ammon, Maceira and Herrmann (2015), this model is a shear velocity model that combines spatially interpolated/smoothed receiver functions, surface-wave dispersion and gravity observations through a 3D simultaneous inversion to image the subsurface S-wave velocity structure of the western U.S. region.


Added the 3D2015_10Sv model. This model, Debayle, E., F. Dubuffet, and S. Durand (2016), is the latest Sv wave model of the upper mantle and transition zone from the authors based on the waveform modeling of 1,377,550 Rayleigh waves recorded between 1976 and October 2015.

Added the US-Crust-Upper-mantle-Vs.Porter.Liu.Holt.2015 model. This model (Potter, Liu and Holt, 2016) is based on the shear velocity inversion of Rayleigh wave phase velocities calculated from ambient noise and wave-gradiometry measurements.

Added the US-CrustVs-2015 model. The US-CrustVs-2015 model, Schmandt & Lin (2014) is a Crust thickness and Crust and Uppermost mantle Vs model for the contiguous U.S.

Added the Crustal_Thickness_Error model. The Crustal_Thickness_Error model, Gilbert (2012) is a model of crustal thicknesses values that are based on common conversion point (CCP) stacking of receiver functions calculated from data recorded by USArray stations and other permanent and temporary deployments in the western United States.

Added SPani |SPani, Tesoniero, Auer, Boschi, and Cammarano (2015), is a joint model of radially anisotropic P- and S-velocity variation of the whole mantle based on the inversion of fundamental Rayleigh and Love surface waves up to the sixth overtone and major P- and S-body wave phases.

Added TW-PS-H14, Huang, Wu, Song, Chang, Lee, Chang, and Hsieh (2014), a 3D Vp, Vs, and Vp/VS models of Taiwan region from joint inversion of P- and S-wave travel times.

Added YS-P-H15, Huang, Lin, Schmandt, Farrell, Smith, and Tsai (2015), a 3D P-wave velocity model of Yellowstone from joint inversion of local earthquake and teleseismic travel-time data.

Added, Yang, Kelbert, Egbert & Meqbel (2015), a 3D electrical resistivity model of the Midcontinent Rift recovered by inverting 222 magnetotelluric stations from EarthScope USArray dataset in Midcontinent Rift area, north-central USA.

EMC 3D Visualizer is released (

Added Andes.ANT.Ward.2013, Ward, Zandt, Beck, Porter, Wagner, Minaya and Tavera (2013), a 3D shear-wave velocity model of the Central Andes from ambient noise tomography. The model incorporates broadband seismic data from 20 seismic networks deployed incrementally in the Central Andes from 1994 May to 2012 August, to image the shear wave velocity structure of the South American Cordillera.

Added APVC.ANT+RF.Ward.2014, Ward, Zandt, Beck, Christensen, and McFarlin (2014), a 3D shear-wave velocity model of the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex (APVC) from the joint inversion of ambient noise tomography and receiver functions.

EMC 3D Visualizer is available

ak135-f ( density unit was corrected from Mg/km3 to Mg/m3 per user notification. The original unit was the same as

Unified depths of the GyPSuM kmps models.

Added Taiwan.TTT.KWR.2012 model, Kuo-Chen, Wu & Roecker (2012), a model based on a travel-time tomographic method from active- and passive-source experiments of Taiwan Integrated Geodynamic Research (TAIGER) and other permanent seismic networks.

Added S362ANI+M model, Moulik and Ekstrom (2014), is an anisotropic shear velocity model of the Earth’s mantle using normal modes, body waves, surface waves and long-period waveforms

Added US-SL-2014 model, Schmandt & Lin (2014), is a P and S teleseismic body-wave tomography of the mantle beneath the United States.

Added supplemental information page link to LLNL-G3Dv3

Added link to the CRUST 1.0 model on the IRIS EMC – Reference Earth Models page

Created a supplemental information page for Cascade.ANT.Gao-Shen.2014

Version 2.0 visualization tools are online.
In version 2.0 ALL Earth model variables, contained in the netCDF model file, are available for plotting.

Created a supplemental information page for DNA13 Earth model.

Added Cascade.ANT.Gao-Shen.2014 – Gao and Shen (2014), A full-wave ambient noise tomographic method and the analysis of Rayleigh waves from ~1000 stations between 1995 to 2012, including the EarthScope USArray Transportable Array and many other permanent and flexible arrays.

Added SAWum-NA2 — Yuan and Romanowicz (2011), A high-resolution North American shear velocity model of upper mantle

Added DNA13 — Porritt, Allen and Pollitz (2014), P- and S-velocity models for the western US integrating body- and surface-wave constraints

Added SEMum — Lekic and Romanowicz (2011), A high-resolution global shear velocity model of upper mantle

Added wUS-SH-2010 — Schmandt and Humphreys (2010), P and S teleseismic body-wave tomography of the western United States, wUS-SH-2010

Added S2.9EA — Kustowski, Ekstrom and Dziewonski (2008), a model of shear-wave velocity in the upper-mantle beneath Eurasia, S2.9EA

Added STW105 — Kustowski, Ekstrom and Dziewonski (2008), a transversely isotropic reference Earth model STW105

Added S362ANI & S362WMANI — Kustowski, Ekstrom and Dziewonski (2008), anisotropic S velocities Earth models S362ANI & S362WMANI

Added LLNL-G3Dv3 — Simmons, Myers, Johannesson & Matzel (2012) , a global-scale model of the crust and mantle P-wave velocity with regional-scale details. , LLNL-G3Dv3

Added Regional 3-D electrical conductivity model of Snake River Plain / Yellowstone, USA based on magnetotelluric data, SRPY-MT

Added the tomography models HMSL-P06 & HMSL-S06

Added ParaView to the Desktop Tools page

Added tomography model PNW10-S

The Generalized X-section Viewer with the ability of plotting sections in an arbitrary direction has replaced the regular cross section viewer.

The Slab Models for Subduction Zones (Slab) are added to the Horizontal Slice Viewer

The Desktop Tools page is a quick startup guide for some visualization desktop applications that allow 3-D visualizations of EMC’s netCDF model files

Added magnitude scale below cross-section and also revised the vertical scale to represent aspect ratio of 1

EMC online

Added tomography model TX2011

Renamed tomography model Grand2000 to TX2000

Added the Externally Hosted Models category to the Reference Models page that includes links to reference Earth models that are not hosted by EMC.

Added GyPSuM tomography model

Added TNA/SNA reference model

The beta release of the IRIS EMC is now online

Added SAW642AN and SAW642ANb tomography models

The beta release of the IRIS EMC is under review

The alpha release of the IRIS EMC visualization tools is now online

The pre-alpha version of the IRIS Horizontal Slice Viewer is now online

The beta test version of the IRIS EMC Tomoserver is now online

A test Coordinate Selection Tool is added to the Visualization page

Distributed the IRIS Earth Model Collaboration Technical Plan
For additional information contact

The IRIS Earth Model Collaboration data product Trade Study phase started

The Trade Study phase of the new IRIS Earth Model Collaboration data product started at IRIS DMC. The objectives of this phase are:

  • Organize and summarize relevant Earth Models
  • Organize and summarize the existing presentation tools
  • Identify the key elements of the Earth Model metadata
  • Form a Technical Experts team

Citations and DOIs

  • Trabant, C., A. R. Hutko, M. Bahavar, R. Karstens, T. Ahern and R. Aster (2012), Data products at the IRIS DMC: stepping-stones for research and other application, Seismological Research Letters, 83(6), 846:854. doi: 10.1785/0220 120032






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