Waveform Access

The GFZ Seismological Data Archive is the largest seismological data archive in Europe. It holds data from the permanent GEOFON VBB seismic network. For many GEOFON partner networks, GEOFON acts as backup archive and data distribution center. Additionally, data from many temporary station deployments are permanently archived at GEOFON, in particular passive seismological experiments of the GFZ Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP) and the German Task Force Earthquake (data archival pending).

Real-time data streams from permanent networks are mostly acquired over the Internet and are immediately accessible as continuous data stream by SeedLink real-time feeds or on request from the archive. Most of the European networks acquired are contributed to EIDA. (In part EIDA grew out of an earlier concept, the VEBSN.) Although the archive consists mostly of data from broadband stations, a substantial amount of short period data is archived as well as some strong motion and OBS data.

The GEOFON Data Archive is linked to other partner data centers in Germany (German Integrated Data Archive - GIDA) and Europe (European Integrated Data Archive - EIDA). This integrated data archive infrastructure allows transparent access to the data of all participating archives through a single front-end data portal. All data are accessible in a unified way through FDSN web services and SeedLink.

Archive Access Overview

Method Open GFZ Nets Restricted GFZ Data Other EIDA Nets1
WebDC3 Yes Yes Yes
fdsnws-station Yes Yes No
fdsnws-dataselect Yes Yes No2
  1. EIDA nets are third-party contributions to the EIDA collaboration, hosted at other nodes.
  2. Except where the EIDA contributor lists GFZ as an alternative route.

Data availability

Archive access

Several methods are available to access waveform data from the GEOFON archive:

Archive access to restricted data

Access is restricted for:

  • data from recent temporary deployments (limited-duration embargos)
  • some permanent third-party stations/networks for which GEOFON also acts as archive and distribution point
Access to these data may be granted only if the data user can produce written permission from the data producer to use the data, i.e. from the PI of the experiment or a representative of the institution that operates the network. Requests for data access must be sent to GEOFON including the permission statement. Requests for restricted data can be made using using FDSN web services.

Please note we monitor requests of these data. Your personal data, generally credentials used to identify you to us, such as an e-mail address, are collected and retained. These are used to check whether you are allowed access to the data you request. Summary statistics for restricted networks are shared with the relevant data providers, for example project principal investigators (PIs) for temporary deployments, to enable them to understand usage of their data, and verify that their data sets are being shared according to their requirements. Some of these data providers are external to GFZ.

For GFZ users

GFZ users requesting restricted data held at GEOFON also require a token as described here. As GFZ does not participate in eduGAIN, you will need to create a "local" account at B2ACCESS. When you do so, you must check the box to request being part of EPOS. The B2ACCESS process only needs to be done once, and checks that you are associated with GFZ. See the "EAS User Documentation" for details.

Discontinuation of Arclink

After many years, Arclink access ended in December 2019. Synchronisation between EIDA nodes no longer occurs. See ORFEUS's announcement for additional information about the shutdown of this service.

Help transitioning from Arclink

Real-Time data feeds

GEOFON/GEVN data are available as real-time data feeds without special permission by the SeedLink protocol from the GEOFON SeedLink server at geofon.gfz-potsdam.de:18000. A visualization of the GEOFON real-time stations is provided in the form of "live" seismogram plots.

The current status is displayed by our SeedLink monitors:

Data formats

  • SeedLink real-time data comes in 512 byte Mini-SEED format.
  • Archive data shipments in 512 or 4096 byte SEED format.
  • Instrument response information as FDSN StationXML is available through the WebDC3 portal or as SeisComP XML from network pages.
  • In addition, instrument response information as Dataless SEED volumes (or SeisComP XML, coming soon) response files are available through the WebDC3 portal.