A quick SEED tutorial

Seismological Research Letters
By:  and 



A number of different government-funded seismic data centers offer free open-access data (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), and Data Management System), which can be freely downloaded and shared among different members of the community (Lay, 2009). To efficiently share data, it is important that different data providers follow a common format. The Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data (SEED) provides one such format for storing seismic and other geophysical data. The SEED format is widely used in earthquake seismology; however, SEED and its structure can be difficult for many first-time users (ourselves included). Below is a quick tutorial that outlines the basic structure of SEED format. This write-up is in no way intended to replace the comprehensive SEED manual (Ahern et al., 2009), and instead of going into the details of any specific part of the SEED format we refer the reader to the manual for additional details. The goal of this write-up is to succinctly explain the basic structure of SEED format as well as the associated jargon, as most commonly used now, in a colloquial way so that novice users of SEED can become more familiar with the format and its application quickly. Our goal is to give the reader the necessary background so that when problems or questions about SEED format arise they will have some understanding of where they should look for more details or from where the problem might be stemming. As a secondary goal, we hope to help the reader become familiar with the SEED manual (Ahern et al., 2009), which contains detailed information about all aspects of the SEED format.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A quick SEED tutorial
Series title Seismological Research Letters
DOI 10.1785/0220150043
Volume 86
Issue 6
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 1717
Last page 1725
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N