User's guide to HYPOINVERSE-2000, a Fortran program to solve for earthquake locations and magnitudes

Open-File Report 2002-171




Hypoinverse is a computer program that processes files of seismic station data for an earthquake (like p wave arrival times and seismogram amplitudes and durations) into earthquake locations and magnitudes. It is one of a long line of similar USGS programs including HYPOLAYR (Eaton, 1969), HYPO71 (Lee and Lahr, 1972), and HYPOELLIPSE (Lahr, 1980).

If you are new to Hypoinverse, you may want to start by glancing at the section “SOME SIMPLE COMMAND SEQUENCES” to get a feel of some simpler sessions. This document is essentially an advanced user’s guide, and reading it sequentially will probably plow the reader into more detail than he/she needs. Every user must have a crust model, station list and phase data input files, and glancing at these sections is a good place to begin. The program has many options because it has grown over the years to meet the needs of one the largest seismic networks in the world, but small networks with just a few stations do use the program and can ignore most of the options and commands.

History and availability. Hypoinverse was originally written for the Eclipse minicomputer in 1978 (Klein, 1978). A revised version for VAX and Pro-350 computers (Klein, 1985) was later expanded to include multiple crustal models and other capabilities (Klein, 1989). This current report documents the expanded Y2000 version and it supercedes the earlier documents. It serves as a detailed user's guide to the current version running on unix and VAX-alpha computers, and to the version supplied with the Earthworm earthquake digitizing system. Fortran-77 source code (Sun and VAX compatible) and copies of this documentation is available via anonymous ftp from computers in Menlo Park. At present, the computer is and the directory is /ftp/pub/outgoing/klein/hyp2000. If you are running Hypoinverse on one of the Menlo Park EHZ or NCSN unix computers, the executable currently is ~klein/hyp2000/hyp2000.

New features. The Y2000 version of Hypoinverse includes all of the previous capabilities, but adds Y2000 formats to those defined earlier. In most cases, the new formats add 2 digits to the year field to accommodate the century. Other fields are sometimes rearranged or expanded to accommodate a better field order. The Y2000 formats are invoked with the “200” command. When the Y2000 flag is turned on, all files are read and written in the new format and there is no mixing of format types in a single run. Some formats without a date field, like station files, have not changed. A separate program called 2000CONV has been written to convert old formats to new.

Other new features, like expanded station names, calculating amplitude magnitudes from a variety of digital seismometers, station history files, interactive earthquake processing, and locations from CUSP (Caltech USGS Seismic Processing) binary files have been added.

General features. Hypoinverse will locate any number of events in an input file, which can be in one of several different formats. Any or all of printout, summary or archive output may be produced.

Hypoinverse is driven by user commands. The various commands define input and output files, set adjustable parameters, and solve for locations of a file of earthquake data using the parameters and files currently set. It is both interactive and "batch" in that commands may be executed either from the keyboard or from a file. You execute the commands in a file by typing @filename at the Hypoinverse prompt. Users may either supply parameters on the command line, or omit them and are prompted interactively. The current parameter values are displayed and may be taken as defaults by pressing just the RETURN key after the prompt. This makes the program very easy to use, providing you can remember the names of the commands. Combining commands with and without their required parameters into a command file permits a variety of customized procedures such as automatic input of crustal model and station data, but prompting for a different phase file each time.

All commands are 3 letters long and most require one or more parameters or file names. If they appear on a line with a command, character strings such as filenames must be enclosed in apostrophes (single quotes). Appendix 1 gives this and other free-format rules for supplying parameters, which are parsed in Fortran. When several parameters are required following a command, any of them may be omitted by replacing them with null fields (see appendix 1). A null field leaves that parameter unchanged from its current or default value. When you start HYPOINVERSE, default values are in effect for all parameters except file names.

Hypoinverse is a complicated program with many features and options. Many of these "advanced" or seldom used features are documented here, but are more detailed than a typical user needs to read about when first starting with the program. I have put some of this material in smaller type so that a first time user can concentrate on the more important information.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
User's guide to HYPOINVERSE-2000, a Fortran program to solve for earthquake locations and magnitudes
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Earthquake Science Center
123 p.
Number of Pages: