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Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP)

The "Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP)" provides seismic and magnetotelluric instruments and sensors for projects of GFZ groups, universities and other research facilities. It is hosted by Section 2.2 "Geophysical Imaging" of the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ). Since its foundation in 1993 the GIPP has supported more than 450 geoscientific projects.  The GIPP is part of the Modular Earth Science Infrastructure (MESI) at GFZ.

The proceedings of instrument supply on loan are laid down in "Rules of instrument supply on loan through the geophysical Instrument Pool (GIPP) of the GFZ". For application see link "Application". A steering board, which convenes twice a year, evaluates the applications and makes recommendations. The decision for the allocation of the instruments is made by the Executive Board of the GFZ.

The next steering board meeting will take place on November 7, 2023.

Accordingly, the deadline for applications is October 10, 2023. The actual preparation of a project has to be coordinated with the Working Group GIPP, which is also reponsible for the GIPP technical maintenance.

Pool components: Seismics/Seismology,DEPAS, Magnetotellurics


16.02.2022 | Correcting a sub-sample timing inaccuracy in the post-processing (conversion) of Cube data streams (GIPPtools)

In order to use data acquired with Cube recorders, the data has to be converted from the proprietary internal data format, including interpretation of the timing information contained in the data stream. We were made aware that the recording time computation for the samples was imperfect.
The necessary correction depends on the used sampling rate (sps) and can be computed as 
(0.199 / sps + 0.00030)  seconds. For example a sampling rate of 100 samples per second requires an additional time correction of 2.29 milliseconds, which have not been considered so far.
The current version of GIPPtools and all following versions will automatically correct imperfect Cube timing during conversion to other data formats (using 'cube2mseed', 'cube2segy' and 'cube2ascii').
NOTE: As the timing error is only about a quarter of the sample period it is probably not a grave problem for most applications!
Many thanks to Jake Anderson from Boise State University for reporting the problem and contributing to the fix.

You can download the most recent version of GIPPtools from :

27.08.2020 | Data archiving of experiments after 2010

In the future, the supply of instruments of the „Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam“ (GIPP) of the GFZ will be subject to the completed archival of the data of older experiments of an applicant at the GIPP-repository or the GEOFON data centre. This was confimed by the GIPP steering board at the last meeting in Spring 2020. Since 11.8.2010 research data gathered with instruments of the GIPP has to be submitted to the GIPP- or GEOFON data archives within one year after the completion of an experiment. For 4 years the data are exclusively reserved for the user of the instruments (PI); after this period they will be made openly available to the public. This rule supports sustainable archiving and subsequent reuse of primary research data. All instrument users can check the status of their previous projects at the „GIPP Experiment and data archive“. A confirmation of the archival of older data will be part of new applications.

23.01.2019 | GPS week number roll-over 2019 - possible malfunction during data acquisition

GPS satellite raw data contain (among others) the week number (week 0 started on January 6, 1980), Historically, the week number counter is limited to values between 0 and 1023. This can cause malfunctions of data recorders using the GPS information when the week number becomes too large (so-called week number roll-over€œ, WNRO). This happens (again) on April 7, 2019. Here you find more information about possible consequences regarding the data acquisition with GIPP-data recorders.

23.01.2019 | GIPP-Mailing-List

We have installed a GIPP-mailing list with which we would like to inform about GIPP-relevant topics and current issues in the future. These could be upcoming deadlines for submission of applications and also technical information. You might expect 2 to 4 messages a year. We would be happy to welcome you in this mailing list. Please register here.

The personal data stored in connection with your person will not be passed on to any third parties. In the course of the Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), which came into force in May 2018, we have also updated our Data Protection Policy on our website (https://www.gfz-potsdam.de/datenschutz).

13.06.2012 | Fiber-Optic Gyroscope allows accurate set-up of seismometers

The "Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam" (GIPP) of the GFZ has aquired a fiber-optic gyroscope which allows the highly accurate orientation of geophysical sensors. This gyroscope produced by the company IXSEA allows the orientation of sensors (relative to Earth's rotation axis) with a typical accuracy of 0.1° (secant latitude). The orientation of sensors using a magnetic compass usually suffers from magnetic deflections by metal parts (e.g. in buildings) and the magnetic declination which is locally and temporary variing. The use of the fiber-optic gyroscope avoids these pitfalls. The exact orientation of seismometers is for example essential for the analysis of seismic anisotropy.

31.08.2010 | New Rules for Data Archiving implemented

In the future, research data gathered with instruments of the “Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP)” of the GFZ has to be made available to the public within 4 years after the completion of the field work. This new guidline, which was triggered by the GIPP steering board, has been implemented on August 11, 2010. This new rule will support sustainable archiving and subsequent reuse of primary research data. This is in line with the “Priority Initiative” of the “Alliance of German Science Organisations”: “In Germany alone, the costs associated with obtaining research data as the basis for scientific knowledge (...) is in the order of magnitude of several billion euros each year. Even after a relatively short phase of scientific evaluation by individual researchers or small groups, much of this data is forgotten and/or allowed to deteriorate. All scientific institutions therefore see an urgent need for action in order to ensure the systematic backup, archiving and provisioning of scientific data for subsequent (re-)use by third parties” (http://www.allianzinitiative.de/en/start). Similar rules are in force in the US and UK for many years. Within the first 4 years after completion of the field work, data are only available to the project partners (PIs). For archiving, the “GIPP Experiment und Data Archive” and the “GFZ Seismological Data Archive (GEOFON)” can be used. Details regarding archiving can be found here and here.

24.02.2010 | New “DSS-cube” seismic data recorder available

GFZ-Section 2.2 “Deep Geophysical Sounding” and the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam GIPP) have developed a new stand-alone 1-channel digital seismic data recorder. This robust DSS-cube recorder is characterized by a small and light-weight design and extremely low power consumption. This means that it runs on 2 D-cell batteries for up to 3 weeks (depending on temperature etc.). High timing accuracy is provided by build-in GPS. Data is downloaded via USB interface. This instrument type optimally complements the existing GIPP hardware to improve the support of controlled-source experiments and shallow investigations. The DSS-cube recorder is a GFZ hardware development; credits belong to Trond Ryberg, Mike Hönig and Karl-Heinz Jäckel who initiated and put forward the project. The development was completed in Summer 2009, the first 14 units were manufactured in August 2009. In 2009, the instruments were successfully tested in seismic experiments in Austria and Kyrgyztan. Since February 2010, 114 units of this type are available (supply on loan) through the GIPP. More details on technical specifications can be found here (link).

22.07.2009 | The Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam GIPP starts development of a new digital data recorder

The Helmholz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) has started the Europe-wide procurement by public tender for the development of a new geophysical data recorder. A corresponding call has been sent to the Official Journal of the EU for publication. Interested companies submit their bids until August 17, 2009. The instrument searched for is a digital data recorder, which will replace the instruments used so far within the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP). 350 such instruments, which had been developed 10 years ago, are in operation within the GIPP. The instruments are used for investigations of the Earth by GFZ, Universities and other research institutions with seismic, seismological and magnetotelluric methods. They had been used in almost 200 experiments. Details of the call and the technical specification can be found at ted.europa.eu.

09.06.2009 | New seismic multichannel recording system

In late 2008 the GFZ has acquired a new seismic multichannel recording system. It is a Geometrics Geode system with 240 channels. This System is formed by 10 Geodes (each with 24 channels), analogue geofone cables (distance between geofone connectors 10m), corresponding interface cables, 10Hz-geofones and accessories. Maximum spread is 2.4km. Typical applications are shallow geophysical investigation and exploration in the depth range from meter to kilometer. In addition we purchased an accelerated weight drop as seismic source (PEG-40). These instruments form part of the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP).

GIPP Experiment and Data Archive

The GIPP Experiment and Data Archive is the platform for long-term archiving of geophysical experiment data and its supply to users. It contains metadata of all experiments supported by the "Geophysical Equipment Pool Potsdam" (GIPP) as well as data from active seismic and magnetotelluric field measurements.

Applications for instruments and sensors of the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam should be sent to Dr. Christian Haberland one up to one and a half year in advance. In this application, a brief description of the scientific goals of the project should be included, also the reason why it is necessary to involve instruments from the GFZ, the number of desired instruments, the duration of the project (including the time for transportation), and the scheduled date. Please use the form ( pdf , docx ) and restrict the attachment "Short outline of project" to two pages.

Alternatively, the application can be carried out via website forms (at present in German only):

This application then is recommended by the Steering Board for the GIPP, and the final decision is made by the Executive Board of the GFZ. The Steering Board meets twice a year (April and October). The deadline for applications is four weeks before the Steering Board meeting (see GIPP main page for date). The applicant will be informe approx. four weeks after the decision.

Seismic Pool
The seismic-pool provides a large number of data logger, broadband seismometers and shortperiod sensors.

The "German instrument pool for amphibian seismology" (Deutscher Geräte-Pool für amphibische Seismologie, DEPAS) provides broadband-onshore stations and ocean bottom seimometers for the preferred use within amphibious projects. The onshore component is maintained by the GFZ, the offshore component is operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar Research in Bremerhaven (AWI).

Magnetotelluric component of the geophysical instrument pool


A collection of programs for (seismic) data conversion and pre-processing.

DSS CUBE - Field operation and data copy software (GFZ/GIPP software)

This program set contains monitor, setup, and copy programs as well as parameter sets of typical field applications to be loaded by the setup program. In conjunction with each instrument lending, the introduction into field operation software is part of the training course.

further software

EDL - Field operation and data conversion software (GFZ/GIPP software)

In conjunction with each instrument lending, the introduction into field operation software is part of the training course. During the course also the installation at the provided field PCs will be done.

The original operation software by EarthData (RealTime Monitor ModMon; Data Viewer PView) you find athttp://www.earthdata.co.uk/down.html

Data Delivery
Data will be delivered to the “GIPP Experiment and Data Archive” in different formats depending on the experiment type.

Data Format
Description of all data formats used in the "GIPP Experiment and Data Archive".

Steering Board
The steering board is formed by leading scientists from Universities, research institutions and/or industry.  

"Author declaration and metadata form for GIPP-data publications"
Form to collect information needed for data publications (for “GIPP Experiment and Data Archive” and GEOFON). For submission of data please contact Dr. Christian Haberland (haber(at)gfz-potsdam.de).

Template for Datareports
Template for data reports within the "Scientific Technical Report - Data GIPP Experiment- and Data Archive"-series (see example). For submission of report and data please contact Dr. Christian Haberland (haber(at)gfz-potsdam.de).

Rules of instrument supply on loan through the geophysical Instrument Pool (GIPP) of the GFZ
Listed are conditions and rules for the instrument supply. These issues are related to experiment preparation, scheduling, instrument return, data archiving, responsibilities of the user, etc.

User Response
At the end of instrument return we ask to  evaluate the collaboration with the Instrument Pool.

List of GIPP publications

Publikationen aller GIPP-unterstützten Projekte

Q: Which instruments are available, and which not?
The GIPP provides digital datarecorders and sensors for magnetotelluric and seismological measurements (both passive seismological networks and controlled source experiments; including cables and transport boxes). Detailed information of the instrumentation can be found here (link). Batteries and solar panels are not part of the GIPP (Exception: For DEPAS stations approx. 30 50W-solar panels are available). In any case, please list your requirements for batteries and solar panels in your application and/or contact christian.haberland(at)gfz-potsdam.de. Service computer and downloading units (for hard drives) are also not part of the GIPP (this issue is covered in the preparatory meeting before instrument supply).

Q: Which services offers the GIPP?
In addition to the instrument supply on loan, the GIPP offers consulting and the introduction in the operation of the instruments (training). Additionally, the GIPP provides software for data preprocessing (e.g., GIPPtools by Christof Lendl). The GIPP does not organize transportation or customs clearance/declaration, or provides funds for these issues.

Q: Who can apply for instruments and for which purpose?
Members of Universities and other research institutions can apply for instruments. The GIPP supports primarily academic research.

Q: What do I have to pay for the instrument rental?
The instrument supply on loan is free of charge for users at universities and other research institutions. Funds for installation, operation, transports, customs charges etc. have to be provided by the applicant.

Q: How long can I install the equipment in the field?
The usual maximum rental period is 2 years; longer periods and extension on request (christian.haberland(at)gfz-potsdam.de).

Q: How does the application procedure looks like?
The application procedure is described here (link).

Q: What do I have to keep in mind regarding transportation of equipment and customs?
Neither organization of transport and customs declaration nor funding for these issues are covered by the GIPP. However, details on these issues are discussed during the preparatory meeting before the instrument supply. Copies of customs forms have to be sent to the GIPP.

Q: Which deadlines have to be met?
Applications should be sent to the GIPP 4 weeks before the steering board meetings (usually in April and October). The next date can be checked here (link). Applications should be sent to the GIPP one to one and a half years before the expected start of the experiment. Two months before the instrument supply a preparatory meeting has to be arranged.

Q: Which general aspects have to considered when applying for GIPP instruments?
The rental rules are basically laid down in 2 documents, “Rules of instrument supply on loan to external users” and  "Rules of instrument supply on loan through the geophysical Instrument Pool (GIPP) of the GFZ"

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