Wednesday, May 23, 2012

GeoNet Rapid - Why is it different?

GeoNet Rapid has been up and running for a few months now so i thought i would go over a few things, the first is:

Quake history:

SeisComP3 is fast as it locates the earthquakes automatically (no humans needed).  As soon as it has enough data it is able to post a first location on GeoNet rapid, if you look at the pic above you can see the first location was posted 42seconds after the actual earthquake. 

As more data arrives, from more distant stations, the system refines the location (up to 4 minutes in the pic above)  and finally finishes when the last data has arrived (10min on the pic). This delay is caused by the time it takes from the earthquake P wave to travel to the stations - eg if there was an earthquake at Stewart Island, it would take around seven minutes for the earthquake wave to travel and be picked up by our sensors at Cape Reinga (top of the North Island). The very last change comes later on when one of our duty seismologists looks at the event.

Status/ quality:

As the event changes you will notice both the 'status' and 'quality' change along with it.  The status lets you know if the solution has been located 'automatically' or 'reviewed' by a human   - see figure B in the pic below.  the Quality changes as more information comes into the system - with few stations the solution has 'caution', many stations has 'good' and finally 'best' when a human has reviewed it - see figure A in the pic below.

Descriptions found by hovering over the ? on the website.

We have also added a keyword / colour coding system to the earthquake intensity so you can easily tell if an earthquake was damaging or unnoticeable - see figure C in the pic above.

So why is it different to


Yes the earthquake locations on GeoNet Rapid will be slightly different to those on The main reason for this is that SeisComP3 uses a three dimensional velocity model, whereas uses a one dimensional model.

The three dimensional data model uses a lot of data collected by the GeoNet project as well as many other research projects in NZ. By using this model we are really improving the way we located earthquakes.


GeoNet Rapid will be in full production by late September 2012, and will bring with it a whole new look to the GeoNet website and information, some exciting things to come!

PS: The official GeoNet app for your smartphones can be downloaded here for  Android  and the iPhone/Pad app will be available next month! Is available now! 

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