Commission on Seismological Observation and Interpretation (CoSOI)


The essence of seismology lies in the observation and interpretation of earthquakes and earthquake-generated ground motions, together with effective data distribution and analysis. There is a continuing need to improve mechanisms for the archiving, dissemination and analysis of these data.

The real Earth structure varies in three-dimensions, can show variation with time and is anisotropic and anelastic in part. Thus methods for seismogram interpretation need to take account of the complexities, which are revealed in the currently available high quality data.

Topics of current interest to the Commission include:

  • Seismic instrumentation, networks and international data centers (international data exchange, management of massive data sets)
  • Seismogram analysis (incl. future developments)
  • Determination of earthquake parameters
  • Wave propagation in heterogeneous media (incl. synth. Seismograms and waveform modeling)
  • Seismological interpretation (incl. inversion techniques & whole-Earth analysis)

Activities of CoSOI:

  • Organises symposia at the IASPEI and IUGG assemblies
  • Initiates and coordinates working / task groups on specific topics
  • Set standards of data analysis and formats
  • Maintaining the Manual of Seismological Observatory Practice


  • Chair: Torsten DAHM (Germany)


Working and Task Groups

Working group with fulfilled task:
  • Working Group on Seismological Archives (R. Musson) some tasks taken over by new ESC task group
  • Working Group on Networks and Stations Codes (Ray Buland, Avi Shapira)
  • Working Group on Definition of Authoritative Locations
Task Group on Seismic Scattering and Heterogeneity
  • Chair: Michael Korn (Germany)
  • Former Chair: Haruo Sato (Japan)
Working Group on Reference Events for Improved Locations

This working group consists of the following members

  • Member: E.R. Engdahl (USA)
  • Member: E. Bergman (USA)
  • Member: I. Bondar (Hungary)
  • Member: K. McLaughlin (USA)
  • Member (ISC): R. Gallacher (UK)
Utilization of Global 3-D Models for Seismic Observatory Applications
  • Chair: Dr Stephen Myers, LLNL (USA)
Working Group on Magnitude Measurements
  • Chair: Allison Bent (Canada)
  • Former Chair: Domenico Di Giacomo (UK)

Goals of WG set out after the IUGG2019 Montreal meeting

Continuation Plan (December 2014)

Questionnaire on magnitude procedure: please document the magnitude procedures of your agency and return the form to the ISC (more details in the form)

Working Group on New Manual of Seismological Observatory Practice
  • Chair: Torsten Dahm (GFZ, Germany)

Working Group on Triggered and Induced Seismicity (TAIS)
  • Chair: Stanislaw Lasocki (Poland)

Working Group on Seismological Archives

This working group is closed

  • Chair Roger Musson (UK)
Working Group on Historical Seismicity
  • Co-Chairs: Paola Albini (Italy) and Katsuhiko Ishibashi (Japan)
Working Group on Networks and Stations Codes

This working group has fulfilled its purpose and is now closed

  • Chair: Ray Buland (U.S.A.)
  • Former Chair: Avi Shapira (Israel)
Working Group on Definition of Authoritative Locations
  • Chair: Remy Bossu (France)
Automatic and routine Moment tensors: benchmark and verification platform
  • Chair: Torsten Dahm (GFZ, Germany)