Data Services Newsletter

Volume 15 : No 3 : Winter 2013

New web application provides an interactive tool to understand timeseries data channel codes

Most of the data collected and archived at the DMC is time series (or waveform) data. Each channel of timeseries data is identified by a 3-character channel code which indicates the type and placement of the sensor. The convention for time series channel codes is documented in greater detail in Appendix A of the SEED Manual but often data users want a quick way of determining their particular channels of interest, particularly if they are new to seismology.

A recently released web-based tool developed by the DMC provides a simple interface for users wishing to both learn, and query our data archive for, various channel codes. See a screenshot of the tool in Fig. 1 below.

Figure 1 - Channel Wizard screenshot
Figure 1: Annotated screenshot of the Time Series Data Channel Wizard. The Channel Code field (annotated in red) is dynamically updated based on the user selection of the following drop-down menus: the Band/Sample Rate field (annotated in green) defines the sampling rate and response band of the instrument and is the first character in a channel code; the Instrument Type field (annotated in navy blue) defines the type of instrument or sensor and is the second character in a channel code; the Orientation field (annotated in purple) defines the sensor orientation or placement, although this field may be used for other purposes depending on the sensor, and is the third character in a channel code. Users can add multiple channels (left-hand-side black annotation) or edit the channels added (right-hand-side orange annotation). Additionally, users can request data from the channels they have added by selecting a tool from the drop-down menu (right-hand-side black annotation) and clicking the ‘Go’ button. The tools supported are currently only SeismiQuery, but in the future this will be expanded to include other online tools.

The tool have been designed to support both the casual user of seismic data (notice the “cheat sheet” lists of commonly used channel codes beneath the drop-down menus) and also the professional seismologist who has very specific time series data needs.

In addition to defining SEED channel codes, users can also query DMC-created online tools directly from the interface. Currently the only tool supported is SeismiQuery, but in the future the list will be expanded to support other tools.

More information

Use the Time Series Data Channel Tool »

by Adam Clark (IRIS DMC) and Rob Newman (IRIS Data Management Center)

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