Standards and formats

IASPEI standard seismic phase list

IASPEI standard procedures for magnitude determinations

New IASPEI Manual of Seismological Observatory Practice NMSOP-2, NMSOP

Flinn-Engdahl regions

Seismic Data Formats

ISF (IASPEI Seismic Format)

ISF is the IASPEI approved standard format for the exchange of parametric seismological data (hypocentres, magnitudes, phase arrivals, moment tensors, etc.). It was adopted as standard in August 2001 by IASPEI's Commission on Seismic Observation and Interpretation at the Scientific Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam. The format is an extenstion of IMS1.0. The full documentation may be downloaded for both ISF (pdf) and IMS1.0 (pdf)


QuakeML is a flexible, extensible and modular XML representation of seismological data. The full documentation may be found at

GSE2.1 Format

GSE2.1 was first developed for use in the GSE's Technical Test 3 (GSETT-3), which was a trial starting on 1st January 1995 for a system of global monitoring of nuclear explosions. Based on experience during GSETT-3, a new format was developed for use with the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Documentation for GSE2.1 can be found at as part of the AutoDRM documention.

Fixed Format Bulletin (FFB)

The formatting for FFB files is described in detail here.

Nordic Format

NORDIC format was one of the first attempts to create a more complete format for data exchange and processing. The initiative came from the need to exchange and store data in Nordic countries and the so called Nordic format was agreed upon among the 5 Nordic countries. The format later became the standard format used in the SEISAN database and processing system and is now widely used. The format tried to address some of the shortcomings in HYPO71 format by being able to store nearly all parameters used, having space for extensions and useful for both input and output. An example of the format is shown here.