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About Seismic Monitor

Seismic Monitor allows you to monitor global earthquakes in near real-time, visit seismic stations around the world, and search the web for earthquake headlines or region-related information.
1) The buttons below the map provide Help, Headlines, Latest Earthquakes List, Notable Recent Quakes, Plate Tectonics, and other Education Resources.
2) The blue Zoom Maps buttons to the right side take you to zoom region maps, in the same window.
3) The date and time of the map (in Universal Time) are located in the lower right hand corner.

Earthquakes are shown as colored circles, where the size of the circle tells you the magnitude of the quake, using the legend at the top left of the map. Only earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater are displayed.
Circle Color
  Age of Earthquake
  the last 24 hours    <-- animates briefly when page is loaded
  from 24 to 48 hours
  from 3 days to 2 weeks
  from 2 weeks up to 5 years
The distribution of earthquakes over the past 5 years is represented by the purple colored dots and demonstrates how earthquakes define the boundaries of tectonic plates, as well as the relationship between topography and earthquakes.

The Earth's shadow shows the line between day and night as well as the progression of the seasons.

How to Use Seismic Monitor

Click anywhere on the world map to open a zoom map for the region you clicked in. From that window you can click in the center of earthquake circles to get a list of recent earthquakes in that vicinity, or click on observatory stations (the small blue triangles) to bring up station information pages.

Buttons at the bottom of map include:
1) Return to the main World Earthquake Map
2) The 30 most recent earthquakes on this zoom map.
3) Go to another region of the world in this same window.


If you click on the Google checkbox, in a zoom map window only, Google search mode is enabled.

When enabled, clicking on areas which are not earthquakes executes a search for information relating to seismicity and plate tectonics for the geographic placename you clicked on.

See a live example of earthquake news and info for the N. Pacific

Passing the mouse over the zoom map without clicking displays the names of geographic features as well as the times and locations of the earthquakes passed over.

Javascript must be enabled.

Clicking directly on an earthquake brings up a list of recent earthquakes within 10 degrees distance from that earthquake.

Capabilities on the earthquake list include

Sorting by one or more columns by clicking on their headers,
1) Seeing a powerful, interactive map of the chosen earthquake and others nearby, and
2) Access to all sorts of tools and resources IRIS has relating to the chosen earthquake

A link to a powerful list of earthquakes which leads to recent seismicity maps, bulletins, visualizations and more.

Back on the main world map screen, you can also open a jumbo-sized map by pressing the
"See Large Screen View" button:

The jumbo map has no interactive capabilities.
It is meant for unattended display on a larger monitor in browser full-screen mode.

Seismic Monitor is updated every 20 minutes (jumbo-sized map hourly).

Left unattended your browser will automatically reload the page at about the same interval.

Earthquake data are provided by the USGS National Earthquake Information Center .

Best viewed with: IE 8+, and recent versions of Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Not tested in IE10.

We welcome your comments and your suggestions. Please send them to the administrator