GEOFON is part of the Modular Earth Science Infrastructure (MESI) of GFZ, providing services within the “Permanent networks”, “Data Distribution and Archiving” and “Communications” groups of MESI. It directly supports the Helmholtz mission by providing the seismological infrastructure to research the complex system Earth and thus contributes to solving the grand challenge of mitigating the hazard from earthquakes and tsunamis.
GEOFON facilitates cooperation in seismological research and earthquake and tsunami hazard mitigation by:  

  • operating and maintaining a global network of permanent broadband stations in cooperation with local partners (currently 82 stations, of which 33 were installed as part of the GITEWS project).
  • operating a data centre and archive, which facilitates real time access to data from the GEOFON stations and those of many partner networks and plate boundary observatories, providing a permanent and secure archive for those seismological data. It also archives and makes accessible data from temporary experiments carried out by scientists at German universities and serving as the permanent archive for the Geophysical Instrument Pool at Potsdam (GIPP). GEOFON organises the data exchange of real-time and archived data with international partner institutions and earthquake centres and cooperates with them in the setting of standards of seismological data exchange.
  • Using real-time data streams to determine rapid automatic location estimates for all globally recorded earthquakes and most regional ones, and providing manually revised solutions for the largest earthquakes, which are distributed over the GFZ webpage and other internet protocols. 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 exchanges data and locations with many tsunami warning centres in the Indian Ocean and in the Mediterranean.
  • distributing and developing an open-source integrated software package (SeisComP3) which combines acquisition of real-time datastreams with automatic and interactive earthquake location and magnitude determination tools. This software has been adopted by many tsunami warning and earthquake centres worldwide for managing their real-time data acquisition and/or location procedures (e.g. Switzerland, Indonesia, India, France, Turkey, Greece, New Zealand, USA).

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.

see also:

GEOFON station distribution