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Seismogram Archives of Significant Earthquakes of the World


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Earthquake Archive

Reference Stations

Station Archive

Special Projects

Projects Archive

Background Information

Information Archive

"... old seismograms, if properly interpreted, provide invaluable information on earthquakes in the past, and every effort should be made to save them, regardless of their quality, from possible loss and to make copies in an easily readable form."

Hiroo Kanamori (1988)


The following archives are being constructed under the auspices of the International Committee for Preservation of WWSSN and Historical Seismograms (ICPWHS) of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's (IASPEI), in collaboration with the Data Management Center (DMC) of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The IRIS DMC is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

The main purpose of these online SeismoArchives is to preserve seismograms and related materials in computer data files so that they are readily accessible online as source materials for research.  For the charge and mission of this Committee, please click: ICPWHS.

Because no funding is yet available for constructing these SeismoArchives, we depend on volunteers and donors of data files and/or financial support for scanning analog seismograms that dated back to 1882.  Although the IRIS DMC has been managing modern digital seismogram data since the 1980s, the bulk of the seismograms recorded by seismic observatories and networks for over 100 years are in analog form on either papers or microfilms.   

These analog seismograms (about 50 millions pieces) have been disappearing at an alarming rate. We are now concentrating on preserving a tiny fraction of the seismograms recorded by the Worldwide Standardized Seismograph Network in the 1960s and 1970s (about 5 million seismograms on 70mm film chips), and by the Historical Seismogram Filming Project in the 1980s (about 0.5 million seismograms on microfilms for earthquakes prior to 1963).

SeismoArchives are grouped into 3 major types: by individual earthquakes, by reference stations, and by special projects. Background materials are also included. Please click one of the following items.

I.   Archives by Individual Earthquakes

II. Archives by Stations

III. Archives by Special Projects

IV. Background Information

SeismoArchives Search

SeismoArchives IRIS


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