Observatories and Research Facilities for EUropean Seismology
Volume 4, no 2 September 2002 Orfeus Newsletter

Developments at ORFEUS and its Data Center

Torild van Eck, Bernard Dost, Chad Trabant, Reinoud Sleeman, Femke Goutbeek

ORFEUS, c/o Seismology Division, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, The Netherlands.


The EC-project MEREDIAN (EVR1-CT-2000-40007) enables the Orfeus Data Centre (ODC) to restructure and automate its data management and archiving procedures. The aim is to increase efficiency, i.e. provide more data, more rapidly with the same staff. The data gathering procedures need to be automated in order to handle the large diversity of broadband data offered by observatories in Europe and its surroundings (inventory of ORFEUS WG1). Both real-time and near real-time data gathering are important elements within this automation (van Eck et al., 2002).

At the same time ORFEUS has been increasing its role as a co-ordinating organisation concerning European data exchange, archiving and providing relevant information. This includes more active participation and co-operation with other international agencies, like, for example, FDSN, IRIS, EMSC, ESC, and ISC Providing assistance in searching and co-ordinating European funding is another important aspect. However, active involvement of the ORFEUS participants is becoming increasingly crucial in a succesful operation of ORFEUS. Therefore, we encourage you to take active part and initiate activities within the ORFEUS framework.

Figure 1. Schematic overview over the data management presently being implemented at Orfeus Data Centre. The white blocks and broken lines indicate the elements on which we are presently working. Spyder® will probably disappear in 2003 and be replaced by the Event data "POND".

New data management structure at the ODC

The data management structure that is presently being implemented at the ODC and co-ordinated with IRIS-DMC and major European networks is shown in Figure 1. We have chosen to go ahead full speed in implementing the new elements as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this also meant that our data services have been temporarily decreased. However, this summer and autumn we expect to see the first results in improved data services. Below we provide a short overview over the present status.

the VEBSN, real-time data.
Our future data archive will include a continuous data pool (the Virtual European Broadband Seismograph Network) with (near) real-time data. This data, presently saved up to a maximum of 30 days, is available trough AutoDRM (rtautodrm@knmi.nl).

"POND" data, fast available event data.
Spyder® will be replaced by the event data "POND" (Pool Of Networked Data). Initially the POND will contain rapid "five minute" products extracted from the real-time buffer. This will be replaced by full length event data, i.e. "CURD" (Collection of UnpRocessed Data) as it becomes available. At a still later time after the event occurred the POND will also contain the near real-time data retrieved through an automated AutoDRM procedure. We aim at providing full SEED volumes, i.e. including full response information.

ODC-volumes, Quality controlled event data.
Automation of data retrieval procedures for archiving of delayed data is a another major effort in restructuring our data management. Both the POND data and data arriving in later stages will be quality controlled (QC) before being archived as ODC-volumes in full SEED. This procedure, together with the implementation of several automatic procedures should result in QC data being available faster. The present status of archived data can be seen in Figure 2.

Data access facilities
For the user convenience we aim at a homogeneous data access facility, therefore we co-ordinate our new web facilities implementations, WILBER II and NetDC, with the IRIS-DMC. Presently, we support WILBER, AutoDRM and FTP access to our data. Within ORFEUS a completely revised tutorial and product page is being developed which should provide a simple and complete overview over the available data and access facilities. Figure 3 provides an overview of the data access facilities and the current planning.

Figure 2. Status of the Quality Controlled and available event data at the ODC on August 2002.

Access Continuous Data
European-Meditarranean stations, BB data
Event Data
European-Mediterranean stations, M > 4.4 (EuroMed area), M > 4.9 (Global), BB Data

Real-time data
~-30 days - present

"POND" data
1)"5 min" (rapid) data
2)full event data

Spyder® data
1)"4 min" BB data
2)"30 min" LP data

(Will be replaced by POND data)

ODC volumes
QC full event data
World Wide Web


(Spring 2003)


Format: SAC


(Spring 2003)

Format: SEED


(Autumn 2002)


Format: SEED

Format: GSE




Format: GSE

NetDC in progress

Format: SEED/GSE

Figure 3. Schematic overview over the ODC data access facilities and the current planning. Implemented data access facilities are clickable. Planned data access facilities are in red.

ORFEUS Working Groups

BB siting and station standards
WG1 with Josep Vila as chairman maintains an inventory of the existing and operational braodband stations within Europe and its surroundings. It also co-ordinates the station registration and naming with Bruce Presgrave at the NEIC. October 23-25, 2002 an ORFEUS workshop "Real-time data exchange in Europe" will take place in Barcelona under the umbrella of this working group and with financial assistance from the EC (EMICES project).

Technical support group for broad-band seismometer users
WG2 with Damiano Pesaresi as chairman provides material and documentation and organises workshops with the aim to provide technical assistance to those who operate broadband seismograph stations. Among others ORFEUS aims within this WG2 to organise every other year a workshop "Installation and operation of broad-band seismograph stations" for station operators, advanced students in seismology and other people directly involved in practicalities of modern broad-band seismograph stations. The next workshop is planned for November 18-21, 2002 in Istanbul, Turkey. We further promote the availability of technical reports on instrument tests, descriptions, evaluations, etc, by making these electronically available. Such, often obscure, publications are extremely useful for observatories and data users. Consequently, you are encouraged to submit relevant reports to this working group for public availability.

Mobile (broad-band) stations
Paul Denton from SEIS-UK has recently become the chairman and is presently working on an updated inventory over available mobile equipment and on-going and planned projects. This working group has been created in order to try to establish a European co-ordination of data archiving like PASSCAL at IRIS. A revision of the webpage is foreseen.

Seismological Software
WG4, co-ordinated with the FDSN working group on software, aims at maintaining the software libraries and co-ordinating some of the software developments within the European seismological community. Manfred Baer is chairman. For 2003 an ORFEUS workshop on "Distributed, Object Oriented Computing for Seismology" is planned in Athens with support from EC funds within the EMICES project.

Figure 4. Schematic overview over ORFEUS working groups

ORFEUS information and co-ordinating initiatives

Web links
Besides the software pages and the working group web pages, we maintain (presently together with the EMSC) a complete overview over the seismological observatories in Europe and surroundings. Further, we created and maintain a seismo-edu web page with links to electronic educational material and relevant links to serious amator seismologist activities. We help Steve Malone maintain the seismo-surf pages. Please, let us (Torild van Eck or Femke Goutbeek) know about failed, missed, updated and new links so we can provide a truly comprehensive and up-to-date service.

ORFEUS Electronic Newsletter
The ORFEUS Electronic Newsletter aims at providing up-to-date relevant information on projects, observatories, data handling and recent events for seismologists and other interested people. If you think you could contribute or you would like to see a specific contribution then, please, let the editors know.

Funding and long-term strategies
ORFEUS aims, together with the EMSC and in close co-operation with the ESC, at a long term strategy with respect to European waveform data exchange and archiving. This has resulted in a strategy plan and an expression of interest, NERIES (Network of Excellence of Research and Infrastructures for European Seismology) sent to the EC within their 6th framework activities. Within the 5th framework, two projects, MEREDIAN and EMICES are presently co-ordinated within the ORFEUS framework. Both projects came forth out of initiatives from within the ORFEUS community. It is ORFEUS policy to assist also in the future with co-ordination and practical assistance in relevant projects proposed by ORFEUS participants.

Figure 4. Schematic overview over some of ORFEUS services


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