Data Services Products: SWS-DBs Shear-wave splitting databases



The effect of the media anisotropy on an incoming shear wave may manifest itself as splitting it into two polarized shear waves of different velocities (Shear wave splitting, SWS). Polarization of the resulting "fast" wave and the delay between the "fast" and "slow" waves provide information on the orientation and the intensity of the seismic anisotropy of the media.

SWS-DB map

Shear wave splitting has been studied in many areas of the earth and access to the results of such studies is a valuable tool for the geoscientists to understand the structure and dynamics of the Earth. The Shear-wave splitting databases data product is an attempt by the IRIS DMC to make the published SWS data easily available to the geosciences community. Currently the products holds SWS contributions from two published databases:

Citations and DOIs

To cite the IRIS DMC Data Products effort:

  • 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 Applications, Seismological Research Letters, 83(5), 846–854,

To cite the IRIS DMC Shear-wave splitting databases or reference use of its repositories:

To cite the source or reference the use of SplitLab Shear-wave splitting database:

  • Wüstefeld, A.; Bokelmann, G. H. R.; Barruol, G.; Montagner, J.-P. (2009) “Identifying global seismic anisotropy patterns by correlating shear-wave splitting and surface waves data” , Phys. Earth Planet. Int, 176 (3-4), 198-212,

To cite the source or reference the use of Missouri S&T Shear-wave splitting database:

  • Liu, K.H., A. Elsheikh, A. Lemnifi, U. Purevsuren, M. Ray, H. Refayee, B. Yang, Y. Yu, and S.S. Gao (2014), A uniform database of teleseismic shear wave splitting measurements for the western and central United States, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems ,
  • Yang, B.B., S.S. Gao, K.H. Liu, A.A. Elsheikh, A.A. Lemnifi, H.A. Refayee, and Y. Yu (2014), Seismic anisotropy and mantle flow beneath the northern Great Plains of North America, Journal of Geophysical Research, , volume 119,


  • The SplitLab Shear-Wave Splitting database was created and is maintained by the SplitLab group at Géosciences Montpellier. The database is kept updated by the ongoing efforts of Guilhem Barruol, Université Montpellier II, CNRS, Géosciences Montpellier.
  • The initial compilation of published SplitLab shear wave splitting values was generated by Derek Schutt at the University of Oregon in the late 1990s and was maintained by him at Carnegie’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.
  • From 2001 to 2006, the above list was maintained updated at Arizona State University by Matt Fouch.
  • In March 2012, in collaboration with the Géosciences Montpellier, IRIS DMC started mirroring the Shear-wave Splitting Database.
  • In 2013 Kelly Liu of the Geology & Geophysics Program at Missouri University of Science and Technology provided shear-wave splitting measurements for the western and central United States was provided under sub-award number 63-DMS, which was awarded under cooperative agreement No. EAR-0733069 issued by the NSF under CFDA No. 47.050.
  • Manochehr Bahavar, IRIS DMC


online with the Géosciences Montpellier database
Added Missouri S&T shear-wave splitting database





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