Waveform Access Using the GEOFON BREQ_FAST Service

We stopped BREQ_FAST service at GEOFON on 1 January 2018.

The Transition Guide for GEOFON BREQ_FAST users [PDF] will help you either continue making line-based requests or find waveform data and responses in alternative ways.

We look forward to helping you with data requests in the future. If you have difficulties, please contact us.

For many years GEOFON provided access to seismic data using the BREQ_FAST (Batch REQuests, FAST) system. Requests could be submitted by anyone, by sending specially formatted e-mail. For a full description of BREQ_FAST, see the IRIS web site:

Send your BREQ_FAST e-mail to breq_fast@gfz-potsdam.de or breq_fast@webdc.eu .

Shortly after you send us your e-mail request, you should receive a response e-mail confirming your BREQ_FAST request lines and assigning a request ID. Your request is now queued for automatic execution.

Processing your request may take some time, depending on the amount of data and the load of the system. When your request has been processed, you will receive a second e-mail message. This will inform you how to collect the resulting SEED data file via FTP.

An example of a valid short BREQ_FAST file is:

.NAME Jana Seismologist
.INST TU-Grossdorf
.MAIL Hauptstrasse 10, 12555 Grossdorf, Deutschland
.EMAIL j.seismo@tu-grossdorf.de
.LABEL Test1

APE GE 2010 1 1 10 0 0 2010 1 1 11 0 0 1 BHZ


  1. Your BREQ_FAST request must contain at least a valid .NAME and a valid .EMAIL line, or else it will be silently rejected by our automatic system!
  2. Some fields which are described in the BREQ_FAST Request Manual are ignored by our service. These include .MEDIA, .ALTERNATE MEDIA, .SOURCE, .HYPO, .MAGNITUDE and .QUALITY
  3. Messages must be sent as plain text. Please take care not to send HTML-formatted e-mail.
  4. There are some limits on the size of requests which will be accepted:
    1. The number of streams in a request (several hundred is okay)
    2. The total size of the SEED volume, estimated based on begin and end times (hundreds of megabytes are okay)
    You are encouraged to combine your lists of streams (request lines) to reduce the number of requests (e-mail messages) needed. There are also some throttling/load-balancing measures in place to help manage "over-enthusiastic" users. If you plan to send many automatic requests, please arrange to send them slowly (no faster than one per minute) to avoid inconveniencing other users.
  5. We reserve the right to block e-mail addresses causing difficulties.
  6. Data are only kept for a short time at our FTP server.

Alternative archive access

BREQ_FAST service will not be supported here at GEOFON indefinitely. However, some more modern methods are available to access waveform data from the GEOFON archive, and we encourage you to transition to using these:

  • The FDSN web services, using a web browser or tools such as wget or curl.
  • Direct access through ArcLink, e.g. by using the arclink_fetch command line client.
  • Web-based requests through the GFZ web portal, especially for smaller requests.

We plan to shut down BREQ_FAST service at GEOFON on January 5, 2018. The Transition Guide for GEOFON BREQ_FAST users should help you migrate to an alternative method of requesting waveform data.

Archive access to restricted data

See our waveform access page for details.

Data formats

  • Archive data shipments are in 512 or 4096 byte full SEED format.
  • Restricted data is encrypted using OpenSSL.