This tutorial shows how to acquire earthquake waveforms from data centers.

The data centers are used to provide SEED volumes for regional moment tensor inversion.

The source inversion is initiated by a "DO" script that looks like the following example:

# valid regions
# HI Hawaii hi [Not implemented June 23, 2007]
# SAK Alaska ak WUS (to 69 km deep)
# NAK Alaska ak CUS (in continent from Rockies -no deep)
# CA California ca WUS
# PNW Pacific Northwestrn pnw WUS
# IMW Intermountain west imw WUS
# CUS Central US cus CUS
# NE Northeastern US ne CUS
# ECAN Eastern Canada ous CUS (in continent from Rockies)
# WCAN Western Canada ous [Not implemented June 23, 2007]
# Command syntax:
DOIRIS "2013" "01" "05" "08" "58" "19" "000" " 55.368" " -134.621" "9.8" " 7.48" "CUS" "c000ejqv" "US/c000ejqv" "Canada"

The DOIRIS script sets up the directory structure, instructs the user to place the SEED volumes in a subdirectory, and then
unpack then, and finally run the DOFINISH script:

1. PLACE THE SEED_VOLUME FROM IRIS in /backup/rbh/PROGRAMS.310t/MECH.NA/20130105085819/20130105085819
cp SEED_VOLUME /backup/rbh/PROGRAMS.310t/MECH.NA/20130105085819/20130105085819
cd /backup/rbh/PROGRAMS.310t/MECH.NA/20130105085819/20130105085819
cd Sac
rdseed -f ../SEED_VOLUME -R -d -o 1
[Note use the name of the downloaded file for SEED_VOLUME, e.g., 20090116.seed]
3. Return to the top level directory where you started:
cd /backup/rbh/PROGRAMS.310t/MECH.NA
4. enter the command:
The following sections describe how to get SEED volumes from various data centers.

Earthquakes Canada

Natural Resources Canada/Ressources naturelles Canada provides access to waveform data through their autodrm site. The web page is very easy to use. There are some limitations on the size of the download request, and of course some shortcuts for easier access.

The autodrm request form starts with an the users Email address. When the request is complete, an Email to the user is sent giving the location for FTP access.

Because of the limitation on file downloads, I first run the script DOGSC to get a list of stations ordered by epicentral distance. I use this is select stations for regional moment tensor inversion. The script is available from the next link - just download and save,

DOGSC script

and then

chmod +x DOGSC

Now run the script with the syntax

DOGSC lat lon, e.g.,

DOGSC 55.368 -134.621

The result is the file gsc.list The first few lines of this file are

NDB      191.1411   145 19970101.0001 29991231.0000
MASB 225.3494 131 19990505.1919 29991231.0000
VIB 271.7930 149 20041123.1343 29991231.0000
DIB 278.7018 149 20040315.1942 29991231.0000
MOBC 301.9514 144 19960226.1956 29991231.0000
RUBB 303.6043 111 20120518.2140 29991231.0000
BNAB 332.2422 127 19990416.1834 29991231.0000
BNB 363.4351 148 19960226.1955 29991231.0000
DLBC 441.3487 37 19940928.2211 29991231.0000

The entries are station name, epicentral distances, azimuth, on_date and off_date.  Note that the station information was downloaded in September, 2012 and should be periodically  upgraded manually.

We are now ready to make the AutoDRM Request. Go to the following link:

CNDC AutoDRM data request page

The following pages show how the form is completed to get the SEED volume for the broadbands at Yellowknife.

When the list is complete, click on the "Submit" button.  The next page will be

submissted command

In a terminal window, enter the following command to get the UTC time for the time of submission:

rbh@bob:~$ date -u
Sun Jan 20 22:52:27 UTC 2013

Rather than wait for the Email message, go to the FTP site

ftp site

The filenames starting with CNDC are the SEED volumes.  Since the date command was just approximate, the file created at 10:51:00 PM is the one we want, e.g., 10:51 PM is 22:51 UTC.

You can use the browser to download, but I prefer to use the wget command to place this in the desired directory, e.g.,


With LINUX and the Firefox browser I just drag the filename to the terminal window after I have typed wget, and then after the drag, I hit the Enter.

Now unpack in the Sac subdirectory, e.g.,

cd Sac
rdseed -f ../CNDC* -R -D -o 1
Since some stations may have EH, short period channels, remove those files, e.g.,  rm -fr *EH[ZNE]*

IRIS Waveserver