Sailors wake up call


Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook the island of Okinawa Japan during the early hours of the morning on March 3rd this week. Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion were preparing to attend their morning physical training session when the tremor rocked Camp Shields.

Read the full story here.

A primer and user’s guide of the Seismic Analysis Code

The Seismic Analysis Code A Primer and User's Guide

The Seismic Analysis Code
A Primer and User’s Guide

The Seismic Analysis Code (SAC) is one of the most widely used analysis packages for regional and teleseismic seismic data. For the first time, this book provides users at introductory and advanced levels with a complete guide to SAC. It leads new users of SAC through the steps of learning basic commands, describes the SAC processing philosophy, and presents its macro language in full, supported throughout with example inputs and outputs from SAC. For more experienced practitioners, the book describes SAC’s many hidden features, including advanced graphics aspects, its file structure, how to write independent programs to access and create files, and much more. Tutorial exercises engage users with newly acquired skills, providing data and code to implement the standard methods of teleseismic shear-wave splitting and receiver function analysis. Methodical and authoritative, this is a key resource for researchers and graduate students in global seismology, earthquake seismology and geophysics.

  • Provides the first formalised introduction to SAC, combining an easy-to-use synthesis and tutorial guide
  • Documents all aspects of SAC, from basic viewing of seismic data, to advanced use of macros, graphics, signal-processing sub-processes and much more, creating a key resource for all levels of users
  • Includes reference to commonly used seismic analysis tools such as shear wave splitting and receiver function analysis, enabling readers to use SAC in conjunction with external software

The book is authored by George Helffrich, James Wookey and Ian Bastow.


George Helffric is a Professor of Seismology in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. His research interests include using observational seismology to study features of the crust, mantle and core. Recently, he has based his analysis techniques on large-scale seismic array data, using SAC as the primary seismological data analysis tool. Before embarking on his research career, Professor Helffrich was a programmer who developed and supported mainframe operating systems. Bringing this experience to the seismological realm, he has contributed to the development of SAC for over twenty years.

James Wookey is a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on observational seismology, particularly seismic anisotropy, applied to problems from the inner core to oil reservoirs, with a recent focus on Earth’s core-mantle boundary region. Dr Wookey has spent much of his research career developing and applying novel methods for analysing seismic data, and comparing them with predictions from mineral physics and geodynamics to better understand Earth processes. His experience with SAC spans fifteen years, including as contributor to its development.

Ian Bastow is Lecturer in Seismology in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London. His research focuses primarily on the analysis of broadband seismological data from networks of temporary seismograph stations to better understand the Earth’s crust and mantle. Dr Bastow has worked extensively on tectonic problems concerning the seismically and volcanically active East African rift system, as well as on the development of Laurentia, the Precambrian core of North America. He has been a user of SAC for over a decade.

GeoQ, the EGU newsletter issue number 9

GeoQ-09-1GeoQ, the EGU newsletter, has this month issued its ninth edition. GeoQ is a quarterly newsletter of the European Geosciences Union and it is published online. This issue is themed “The Face of the Earth” to match this year’s theme of the EGU General Assembly. More information about the focus of this year’s GA theme is explained by Günter Blöschl and Gert-Jan Reichart , the EGU President and EGU 2014 Programme Committee Chair, respectively: “The theme intends to enhance coherence between disciplines and provide conference participants with a stronger community feeling. It also reflects the fact that the most thrilling research questions are becoming more interdisciplinary“.

This month’s edition focuses on five sub-topics at the EGU2014: Waters of the Earth, Life of the Earth, Atmosphere of the Earth, Rocks of the Earth and Space and the Earth.

Read the newsletter by downloading the interactive PDF.

The Young Earth Scientists Network

Are you looking to join a global network of earth scientists? The Young Earth Scientists Network (YES Network) is an association of earth-scientists who are primarily under the age of 35 years that represent geological organisations and companies from across the world. The network has been established quite recently, in 2007, and has been running annual meetings since then. Each meeting has been held in different countries such as China, USA, and Austria during the EGU.

The network main aim is that Earth sciences should meet the needs of society hence the motto “Earth Sciences for Society”.  YES works to provide young and early career earth scientists with information on how to obtain relevant skills and experiences, establish collaborative working relationships, and create global interdisciplinary networks. Thus, providing the tools young scientists will need to address some of society’s greatest challenges. Excited about the whole idea? You can join YES for free online:

This year, the YES Network are organising the 3rd World YES Congress, between the 11th – 16th August 2014. The congress will be held at the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre-MJNICC in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in conjunction with the 25th Colloquium of African Geology.
For more information visit:
The deadline for session submission is 15th March 2014