The GeoNet catalogue is where all the technical information about earthquakes is stored. Information such as location, magnitude and arrival times of seismic waves.
Since the 1930's, earthquakes in the catalogue have been determined by instrumental records. Prior to that estimates were made from oral and written records.
GeoNet uses a unique combination of numbers and letters to easily identify an earthquake. This is called the earthquake's Public ID. Knowing the earthquake's Public ID makes it quick to get detailed information about the earthquake.
The format of the Public ID has changed over time:
|QuakeSearch||Interactive, returns basic earthquake parameters||CSV, GeoJSON, GML or KML|
|WFS||Web feature service, returns basic earthquake parameters similar to QuakeSearch but supports more advanced searching methods such as polygons. WFS is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard to allow web-based access to geographical data.||CSV, GeoJSON, GML or KML|
|QuakeML||Full event solution for individual earthquakes, includes picks, amplitudes and historical solutions||QuakeML (XML)|
|FDSN webservice*||Webservice, includes event, station and waveform services. More info||QuakeML (XML)|
|GeoNet API||API for accessing a variety of earthquake information, used to build the GeoNet website and therefore highly supported||JSON, GeoJSON and CAP (XML)|
|RSS Feed**||RSS style feed for earthquake information||XMLStill in development|
* Still in development
** Deprecated service. Please use the GeoNet API instead
Quake Search is the easiest way to get basic information from the catalogue, such as earthquake locations, magnitude and the PublicID.
Features of Quake Search:
Note: QuakeSearch results provide only the preferred solutions for the earthquake parameters. It does not include arrival times, origin history or additional magnitude information.
Please see the GeoNet WFS information page for how to use the more advanced WFS service.
The full and detailed information about the earthquake, such as uncertainties, arrival times and amplitude picks, location algorithm and velocity model used, can be found in the QuakeML file for each earthquake. There are two ways to obtain the QuakeML from the earthquake catalogue: a URL based webservice and the FDSN webservice. If you know the Public ID of the earthquake you are interested in then the first option is great. If you don't or you want to search for this information from multiple events then the FDSN webservice is the better option, examples for QuakeML are below. See the GeoNet FDSN information page for how to use the FDSN webservice.
QuakeML has 2 formats. One has the notation RT, which means real-time variant. We currently provide our data in QuakeML version 1.2.
General URL Form:
You can also read this information directly from a Python script using Obspy. Note: is doesn't download the file, just reads it.
from obspy import read_events # Read QuakeML directly from the website cat = read_events(pathname_or_url='http://quakeml.geonet.org.nz/quakeml/1.2/2016p858000') # Plot earthquake on map cat.plot(projection="local")
Earthquake source mechanisms, such as moment tensors, focal mechanisms and fault models, are available for some earthquakes. Moment tensors are regularly determined by GeoNet for most earthquakes above magnitude 4.5.
|publicid||The Public Id, a unique earthquake reference code.|
|eventtype||The type of seismic event, eg. earthquake, quarry blast, outside of network interest, etc.|
|origintime||The UTC time of the event's occurrence (in ISO 8601 format).|
|modificationtime||The UTC time of the event's last update to its information (in ISO 8601 format).|
|latitude||The latitude of the event (decimal degrees, WGS84 datum).|
|longitude||The longitude of the event (decimal degrees, WGS84 datum).|
|depth||The focal depth of the event (km).|
|magnitude||The magnitude of the event.|
|evaluationmethod||The computer technique used to locate the earthquake.|
|evaluationstatus||The status of the location: preliminary, reviewed, etc.|
|evaluationmode||The mode of location: manual or automatic.|
|earthmodel||The earth model used by the evaluationmethod.|
|depthtype||The type of depth determination.|
|originerror||The standard error of travel time residuals (seconds).|
|usedphasecount||The number of defining phases used computing the location.|
|usedstationcount||The number of stations from which phases were used in computing the location.|
|minimumdistance||The epicentral distance to the closest station (degrees).|
|azimuthalgap||The largest azimuthal gap in station distribution (degrees).|
|magnitudetype||The type of magnitude determined.|
|magnitudeuncertainty||The standard error of magnitude.|
|magnitudestationcount||The number of stations used to determine the magnitude.|