The ISC: 50 Years of Service to Seismology and Vision for the Future

IUGG, S02, Prague Convention Centre, Czech Republic June 27, 2015


Dmitry Storchak, ISC, UK
Steve Myers, LLNL, USA
Marcelo Assumpção, IAG/USP, Brazil
Andrea Morelli, INGV, Italy
Bertrand Delouis, GeoAzur/CNRS, France


The International Seismological Centre (ISC) was formed in 1964 as an international, non-governmental and non-profit organization. The first objective was to continue the International Seismological Summary’s (ISS) mission, which entailed collecting seismogram readings made by local, regional and global seismic networks and providing the definitive bulletin of global seismicity. Demand for the ISC Bulletin and the scope of ISC services grew over the years. In addition to the Bulletin, the ISC now manages the International Seismographic Station Registry jointly with NEIC/USGS, the IASPEI Reference Event List (GT), the EHB Bulletin, the ISC Event Bibliography, the ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue and the International Seismological Contacts Service. In line with demand, the number of member-institutions supporting the ISC has grown to 62 and the number networks contributing data is now 130 with 6500 stations in all. The ISC is also working to extend and upgrade its services by experimenting with its own waveform measurements. Each year ISC data are used in several hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles in many fields of geosciences, including studies of inner structure of the Earth, tectonics, seismicity, assessment of seismic hazard and risk, and monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

This session invited contributions that celebrate the use of ISC data in all fields of the geosciences. We also invited suggestions for new services and functions that the ISC and other parametric data centres could provide to the seismological community.


Roger Musson 8:30-8:45 The International Seismological Centre: Ancestry and origins
John Adams 8:45-9:00 Global Data Centres as a Shared Responsibility - a 50-Year-Long Miracle at the International Seismological Centre
Dmitry Storchak 9:00-9:15 ISC 2015: Mission and Rebuild of the Bulletin
Paul Earle 9:15-9:30 50 years and counting: Past and current collaborations between the International Seismological Centre and the National Earthquake Information Centre
Jarka Plomerova 9:30-9:45 ISC data – long-term fundamentals of seismological research in Prague
István Bondár 9:45-10:00 The role for the ISC in the 21st century
Adam Dziewonski 10:30-11:00 Application of the data from the Bulletins of the International Seismological Centre to studies of the Earth's 3-D structure
Gust Nolet 11:00-11:15 Two sets of twenty-five years of ISC Delay times and their newly estimated uncertainties
Steve Myers 11:15-11:30 Using ISC data to image Earth’s interior
Ivan Koulakov 11:30-11:45 Studying collision and subduction mechanisms based on regional tomographic inversions of the ISC data
Barbara Romanowicz 11:45-12:00 Origin of scattered phases in the coda of the core phases PKP(BC) and PKP(BCdiff)
Brian Kennett 13:30-14:00 Seismic travel times and event location
Felix Wauldhauser 14:00-14:15 Revisiting 50 years of ISC data: Worldwide improvement in earthquake locations and seismic monitoring capabilities
Alberto Michelini 14:15-14:30 Exploring and exploiting the ISC arrivals database: station corrections for rapid and reliable earthquake location
Eric Bergman 14:30-14:45 Can Seismologists Handle the Truth? From Ground Truth to Calibrated Earthquake Locations
Sheila Peacock 14:45-15:00 Reducing magnitude bias using station thresholds derived from ISC amplitude/period data
Marco Pagani 16:30-16:45 The ISC-GEM catalogue: examples of application in global and regional contexts
Gary Gibson 16:45-17:00 Using ISC Earthquake Catalogue for Earthquake Hazard Analysis
Ruben Tatevossian 17:00-17:15 The ISC Data and Temporary Network Observations
Masaki Kanao 17:15-17:30 Long-term detectability of teleseismic events and their relation to surface environment at Syowa Station, Antarctica
Shamita Das 17:30-17:45 Use of ISC data to improve earthquake hypocentral locations: HinduKush and Indonesia
Josep Batllo 17:45-18:00 Missing, duplicates and fakes: Not just macroseismic events


Hiroshi Tsuruoka, About ISC Database mirror in Earthquake Research Institute


Over the last few years we collected a few short notes from our colleagues and frequent data users that demonstrated the ways that the ISC data were used in different fields of research. Although these notes were originally intended for the ISC Brochure, we took a liberty of re-using them in the following three poster-testimonials that were exhibited in the ISC-50 auditorium at the Prague Convention Centre.

  • Testimonials – I
    • Brian Kennett
    • Engdahl, Van der Hilst, Buland
    • Grünthal and Wahlström
    • Lee
  • Testimonials – II
    • Fukao
    • Hayes and Wald
    • Plomerova
  • Testimonials – III
    • Douglas and Lilwall
    • Morelli
    • Koulakov

  • Reception:

    The session ended with a reception that featured Czech delicacies accompanied by a glass of DADÁ produced in the vineyards near offices of INPRES, Argentina - an ISC Member institution. We thank our colleagues in Prague, Jarka Plomerova and Jan Zednik for their help with the organization of this rare event.

    Click Image to enlarge.

    *photos are courtesy of Diethelm Kaiser (BGR, Germany)