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:

  • Developments in seismic instrumentation, networks and data centers, early warning systems, large-scale portable networks, international data exchange and management of massive data sets.
  • Comprehensive seismogram analysis at single stations, seismic networks and arrays - requirements, potentials and future developments.
  • Rapid and routine determination of earthquake parameters, particularly in the context of natural disasters as well as the verification and detection associated with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
  • The role of international data centers and in this context, the use of regional network data to understand and improve international cataloging of earthquakes.
  • Advances in wave propagation in heterogeneous media, including synthetic seismograms and waveform modeling in realistic Earth structures, theory and observations of scattering, attenuation and anisotropy.
  • Developments in seismological interpretation, including development of inversion techniques, seismic tomography and whole-Earth analysis methods.


  • Chair: Torsten DAHM (Germany)


Working and Task Groups

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 has fulfilled its purpose and is now closed

  • Co-Chair: E.R. Engdahl (USA)
  • Co-Chair: Paul Richards (USA)
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)