About ORFEUS Observatories & Research Facilities for European Seismology

ORFEUS (Observatories and Research Facilities for European Seismology, http://orfeus-eu.org/) is a non-profit foundation that promotes seismology in the Euro-Mediterranean area through the collection, archival and distribution of seismic waveform data, metadata, and closely related services and products. The data and services are collected or developed at national level by more than 60 contributing Institutions in Pan-Europe. They are further developed, integrated, standardized, homogenized and promoted through ORFEUS.

Among the goals of ORFEUS are: (a) the development and coordination of waveform data products; (b) the coordination of a European data distribution system, and the support for seismic networks in archiving and exchanging digital seismic waveform data; (c) the encouragement of the adoption of best practices for seismic network operation, data quality control and data management; (d) the promotion of open access to seismic waveform data, products and services for the broader Earth science community. These goals are achieved through the development and maintenance of data services targeted to a broad community of seismological data users, ranging from earth scientists to earthquake engineering practitioners.

Two Service Management Committees (SMCs) are consolidated within ORFEUS, devoted to managing, operating and developing (with the support of one or more Infrastructure Development Groups): (i) the European Integrated waveform Data Archive (EIDA; https://www.orfeus-eu.org/data/eida/); and (ii) the European Strong-Motion databases (SM; https://www.orfeus-eu.org/data/strong/). A new SMC is being encouraged to represent the community of European mobile pools (including amphibian instrumentation). Products and services for computational seismologists are also considered for integration in the ORFEUS domain, possibly leveraging on new EC-funded efforts.

ORFEUS services currently provide access to the waveforms acquired by ~ 18,000 stations in Pan-Europe, including dense temporary experiments, with strong emphasis on open, high-quality data. Contributing to ORFEUS data archives means benefitting from long-term archival, state-of-the-art quality control, improved access, increased usage, and community participation. Access to data and products is ensured through state-of-the-art information and communication technologies, with strong emphasis on federated web services that considerably improve seamless user access to data gathered and/or distributed by the various ORFEUS institutions. Web services also facilitate the automation of downstream products. Particular attention is paid to adopting clear policies and licenses, and acknowledging the crucial role played by data providers, who are part of the ORFEUS community.

There are significant efforts by ORFEUS participating institutions to enhance the existing services to tackle the challenges posed by the Big Data Era, with emphasis on data quality, improved user experience, and implementation of strategies for scalability, high-volume data access and archival. ORFEUS actively encourages interoperability and integration of multidisciplinary datasets in seismological and Earth Science workflows. ORFEUS data and services are assessed and improved through the technical and scientific feedback of a User Advisory Group (UAG), which comprises European Earth scientists with expertise on a broad range of disciplines.

All ORFEUS services are developed in coordination with EPOS and are largely integrated in the EPOS Data Access Portal (https://www.ics-c.epos-eu.org/). ORFEUS is one of the founding Parties and a fundamental pillar of EPOS Seismology (https://www.epos-eu.org/tcs/seismology), that comprises ORFEUS, the EMSC (https://www.emsc-csem.org) and EFEHR (http://www.efehr.org). ORFEUS is active in EC-funded projects. ORFEUS participates in the International (FDSN; https://www.fdsn.org/).

From the beginning ....

The ORFEUS organization originally started in 1987 by the cooperation of about 25 seismologists in Europe. Their ORFEUS Science Plan iniated the birth of the ORFEUS foundation.