Our Mission

GEOFON seeks to facilitate cooperation in seismological research and earthquake and tsunami hazard mitigation by providing rapid transnational access to seismological data and source parameters of large earthquakes, and keeping these data accessible in the long term.

It pursues these aims by operating and maintaining a global network of permanent broadband stations in cooperation with local partners, facilitating real time access to data from this network and those of many partner networks and plate boundary observatories, providing a permanent and secure archive for seismological data. It also archives and makes accessible data from temporary experiments carried out by scientists at German universities and institutions, thereby fostering cooperation and encouraging the full exploitation of all acquired data and serving as the permanent archive for the Geophysical Instrument Pool at Potsdam (GIPP). It also organises the data exchange of real-time and archived data with partner institutions and international centres.

Using real-time data streams, GEOFON determines rapid automatic location estimates for all globally recorded earthquakes and most regional ones, and provides manually revised solutions for the largest earthquakes with minimal delay. This service provides basic rapid earthquake information to earthquake and tsunami warning centres worldwide, governmental agencies, disaster management teams, news media and scientists at the GFZ and elsewhere. The GEOFON earthquake monitoring system acts as key node for rapid global earthquake information for the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) and as background centre of many tsunami warning centres in the Indian Ocean and in the Mediterranean.

It develops and improves methods of rapid analysis of real-time data, works at the forefront of software development to incorporate methodological developments elsewhere into its analysis streams, and cooperates with other national and international data centres in the setting of standards of seismological data exchange.

The access to data and earthquake parameters contributes to basic research into Earth structure and dynamics, primarily of the solid Earth, but also the hydrosphere and atmosphere, applied research related to the hazard from large earthquakes and tsunamis, seismic monitoring for hazard mitigation purposes by national and transnational agencies, and rapid information of the general public.

GEOFON is part of the Modular Earth Science Infrastructure (MESI) housed at the GeoForschungsZentrum providing services within the “Permanent networks”, “Data Distribution and Archiving” and “Communications” groups of MESI. GEOFON's activities are supervised by an external steering committee, the GEOFON Advisory Committee. It directly supports the Helmholtz mission by providing the scientific infrastructure, in the form of the global seismic network, data archival and monitoring facilities, to research the complex system Earth and thus contributes to solving the grand challenge of mitigating the hazard from earthquakes and tsunamis.

Ernst von Rebeur-Paschwitz

Wir wollen in erster Linie die Gründung eines internationalen Netzes von Erdbebenstationen in Anregung bringen, dessen Aufgabe es sein soll, die Ausbreitung der von großen Erdbebencentren ausgehenden Bewegungen auf der Erdoberfläche und durch den Erdkörper in systematischer Weise zu beobachten.

Primarily we would seek the establishment of an international network of earthquake stations, whose purpose would be to systematically observe the propagation of movements generated at earthquake centers, along the Earth's surface and through its interior.

Ernst von Rebeur-Paschwitz 1895