The COSMOS Virtual Data Center: A Web Portal for Strong Motion Data Dissemination

Ralph J. Archuleta, Jamison H. Steidl, & Melinda B. Squibb

Published November 2006, SCEC Contribution #1014

The Constorium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS) Virtual Data Center (VDC) is an unrestricted Web portal to strong-motion seismic data records of the United States and 14 contributing countries for use by the engineering and scientific communities ( As of January 2006, the VDC contains the searchable metadata for 514 earthquakes, 3,052 stations, and 26,708 acceleration traces. A flexible, full range of search methods, including map-based, parameter-entry, and earthquake- and station-based searches, enables the user to quickly find records of interest. A range of display and download options allows users to view data in multiple contexts, extract and download metadata, and download time history and spectra files. Although the portal provides the user a consistent set of tools for discovery and retrieval, the data files continue to be acquired, processed, managed, and for most of the larger providers, archived by the data providers to ensure currency and integrity of the data. COSMOS oversees the development of the VDC through a working group of representatives from both data providers and users, including government agencies, engineering firms, and academic institutions. This article summarizes the VDC content, provides some statistics on its usage, and describes some of its basic search capabilities.

Archuleta, R. J., Steidl, J. H., & Squibb, M. B. (2006). The COSMOS Virtual Data Center: A Web Portal for Strong Motion Data Dissemination. Seismological Research Letters, 77(6), 651-658. doi: 10.1785/gssrl.77.6.651.