ISC FDSNWS event Web Service Documentation

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The ISC Bulletin has now been completely rebuilt for the period 1964-2010. As a result, the ISC hypocentre solutions and magnitudes for the entire period of 1964-latest are based on the ak135 velocity model and the location procedure that is currently used in operations. The Bulletin has been cleaned up and a considerable number of previously unavailable data of permanent and temporary seismic deployments have been added.

The fdsnws-event web service returns seismic eventh1 information from the ISC Bulletinh2. Details of how the ISC Bulletin is produced can be read in the Bulletin Summary or in brief on the ISC website.

Events may be selected based on location, time, contributor, magnitude and event id (an ISC internal identifier). By default results include only the event's prime origin and the magnitudes associated to the the prime origin. They may optionally include all available origin and magnitude estimates.

By default results are returned as XML in QuakeML format schema, but may also be requested in ISF format.

This service is an implementation of the FDSN web service specification version 1.

Below is a full list of service parameters and their usage.

Query Usage

/query?  [geographic-constraints]   [depth-constraints] [temporal-constraints] [magnitude-constraints]
         [organization-constraints] [misc-parameters]   [format-option]        [nodata=404]


/query?    (id-options) [includeallmagnitudes] [includeallorigins] [includearrivals] [nodata=404]


geographic-constraints    ::  [boundaries-rect] OR [boundaries-radial]
boundaries-rect           ::  [minlatitude=<degrees>] [maxlatitude=<degrees>]
                              [minlongitude=<degrees>] [maxlongitude=<degrees>]
boundaries-radial         ::  [latitude=<degrees>] [longitude=<degrees>]
                              [maxradius=<degrees>] [minradius=<degrees>]
depth-constraints         ::  [mindepth=<km>] [maxdepth=<km>]
temporal-constraints      ::  [starttime=<datetime>] [endtime=<datetime>]
magnitude-constraints     ::  [minmagnitude=<float>] [maxmagnitude=<float>]
organization-constraints  ::  [catalog=<text>] [contributor=<text>
misc-parameters           ::  [limit=<integer>] [offset=<integer>] [orderby=<time|magnitude>]
                              [updatedafter=<datetime>] [includeallmagnitude=<true|false>]
                              [includearrivals=<true|false>] [includeallorigins=<true|false>]
format-option             ::  [format=<xml|isf|isf2>]
id-options                ::  (eventid=<id_value>)

(..) required parameter
[..] optional parameter

All parameters must be separated by ampersands (&) as demonstrated in the samples below.

Sample Queries

Detailed Descriptions of each Query Parameter

parameter examples discussion default type
FDSN options
start[time] 2012-11-29 Limit to events occurring on or after the specified start time. any day/time
end[time] 2012-12-01 Limit to events occurring on or before the specified end time. any day/time
BOX search terms incompatible with radial search
minlat[itude] 46.8 Southern boundary. -90° degrees
maxlat[itude] 46.9 Northern boundary. 90° degrees
minlon[gitude] -122 Western boundary. -180° degrees
maxlon[gitude] -121.5 Eastern boundary. 180° degrees
RADIAL search terms incompatible with the box search
lat[itude] 40.0 Specify the central latitude point. 0.0 degrees
lon[gitude] 100.0 Specify the central longitude point. 0.0 degrees
maxradius 5.0 Specify maximum distance from the geographic point defined by latitude and longitude. 180.0 degrees
minradius 1.0 Specify minimum distance from the geographic point defined by latitude and longitude. 0.0 degrees
mindepth -1 Limit to events with depths equal to or greater than the specified depth any float1 (km)
maxdepth 20 Limit to events with depths less than or equal to the specified depth any float1 (km)
minmag[nitude] -1.0 Limit to events with a magnitude larger than or equal to the specified minimum. any float
maxmag[nitude] 8.3 Limit to events with a magnitude smaller than or equal to the specified maximum. any float
Mw Type of Magnitude used to test minimum and maximum limits. Case insensitive. ex. ML Ms mb Mw all Any text
catalog ISC Specify the catalog from which origins and magnitudes will be retrieved (available catalogs). Currently only ISC is available. ISC text
contributor NEIC MOS Limit to events with an origin calculated by a specified agency (available contributors). N.B. This defaults to includeallorigins TRUE. any2 text
limit 25 Limit the results to the specified number of events 40,000 integer
offset 20 Return results starting at the event count specified. 1 integer
orderby time–asc Order results by time/ time-asc or magnitude/ magnitude-asc time text3
includeallorigins TRUE Retrieve all origins or only the primary origin associated with each event.6 false true/false
includeallmagnitudes TRUE Retrieve all magnitudes for the event, or only the primary magnitude.6 false true/false
includearrivals TRUE Specify if phase arrivals should be included. note details false true/false
eventid 1234 Retrieve an event based on the unique ID numbers assigned by the ISC4 text
format text Specify format. Valid formats include xml, isf and isf2 xml text
nodata 404 Specify which HTTP Status code is returned when no data is found.6 204 204 or 404

1 Values increase positively with depth.

2 When requesting a contributor, the result includes a primary origin as specified by the contributor

3 Valid orderby values include:
time — order by origin descending time [default]
time-asc — order by origin ascending time
magnitude — order by descending magnitude
magnitude-asc — order by ascending magnitude

4 When eventid is used, then only the includeallmagnitudes, includeallorigins, and includearrivals parameters are also allowed

5 By default, the service returns a HTTP response code 204, which means the request was successful, but no data (no content) was retrieved. However, because there was no “error”, no error message is generated and it may appear that the browser did nothing. To force an empty query response to display an error message, add nodata=404 to the URL.

6Use of includeallmagnitudes and includeallorigins are currently both set true if one is set true.


Results are filtered by applying the minmag and maxmag constraints to either primary hypocentre's magnitudes or all hypocentre's magnitudes. These are then filtered additionally by a specified magnitude type.

Some common types (there are many) include:
Ml — local (Richter) magnitude
MS — surface magnitude
mb — body wave magnitude
Mw — moment magnitude

Alternatively, special magtypes may be specified:
magtype comparisons are case-insensitive to accommodate historical catalogs where case was not preserved.


Output may be formatted as ISF, version 1 or 2.1 or XML. If format=xml or format is not specified, then the results will be returned in quakeml format. read more


Retrieve the WADL associated with this service:


Date and Time Formats

Year, Month, Day in Month — Time:

YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss[.ssssss] ex. 1997-01-31T12:04:32.123

YYYY-MM-DD ex. 1997-01-31 a time of 00:00:00 is assumed


                YYYY  :: four-digit year
                  MM  :: two-digit month (01=January, etc.)
                  DD  :: two-digit day of month (01 through 31)
                   T  :: date-time separator
                  hh  :: two digits of hour (00 through 23) (AM/PM NOT allowed)
                  mm  :: two digits of minute (00 through 59)
                  ss  :: two digits of second (00 through 59)
              ssssss  :: one to six digits representing decimal fractions of a second, down to microseconds