What do the different channel codes on your waveform plots mean?

Summary

Example illustrating channel definitions

Figure 1: Annotated waveform screenshot showing three high broadband channels for station SMER.

The channel naming convention comes from the Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data (SEED) format. The SEED format uses three letters to name seismic and auxiliary channels where:

  1. the first letter specifies the sampling rate and the response band of the instrument
  2. the second character identifies the sensor instrument code and
  3. the third letter indicates the physical orientation of the channel

Some common examples found on this site

Study Figure 1 to the right to see an example from this website. These waveforms were recorded by our station at Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (SMER) and created by the August 15 2007 Mw 8.0 Peru earthquake.

The list below describes some of the more common examples displayed on this website.

HH[ZNE]

BH[ZNE]

LH[ZNE]

Further information

URL: http://eqinfo.ucsd.edu/faq/channels.php [Last updated: 2015-10-22 (295) 23:07:44 UTC]