Helmholtz-Zentrum Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum

Seismic Devices and Software

The Geomorphology group is widely involved in exploring Earth surface dynamics at the catchment scale, investigating coupling mechanisms and interaction pathways. In addition to process- and task-specific instruments the main devices used are broadband seismometers and geophones, together with data loggers tailored to specific goals. These items are combined to seismic stations that allow for autonomous data recording and transmission. The group also builds software tailored to the environmental seismology needs, to support data preparation, near real-time event detection, data analysis and visualization. The group is actively searching for cooperations in which these hardware and software items can be used by external researchers.

Depending on the research question, the following instruments can be combined to short term (days) and long term (years) networks.


The group hosts a pool of 35 Nanometrics Trillium Compact TC120s 3-component broadband seismometers.


The group hosts a pool of ten PE6/B 3-component 4.5 Hz and six Sercel 1-component 1 Hz geophones.

The seismic sensors can be combined with different types of data loggers.

Nanometrics Centaur

Currently there are seven 3-channel and two 6-channel versions in use.


Currently we are running 39 DiGOS (formerly Omnirecs) Data Cubes 3-ext.

Combining seismic sensors and loggers with an energy source (battery, optionally with solar panels), data telemetry system and additional sensors (weather, optical and thermal imagery) is a key expertise within the group. Autonomously operating and remotely operated stations are designed and built by our engineers for highly flexible and reliable operation in high mountain, tropical, coastal regions.

One of the goals of the group is to foster transparency, reproducibility and open science. Therefore, the software for organizing, preparing and analyzing the seismic data is provided as an R-package under GPL-3 license: The eseis package (Github) allows for the full work flow faced in environmental seismology and is available for all major computer platforms. See the short tutorial for an introduction of the capabilities and examples of applications. If you discover a bug or wish to express a feature demand, please contact the developer Michael Dietze.

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