Seismic Monitor

Seismic Monitor allows you to monitor global earthquakes in near real-time, visit seismic stations around the world, and search the web for earthquake or region-related information. You can also view seismograms and request data and access a suite of data products through Seismic Monitor. Earthquakes are shown as colored circles, where the size of the circle tells you the magnitude of the quake, using the legend at the top left of the map. Only earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater are displayed. The age of earthquake is indicated (last 24 hours to the past two weeks) is indicated by the circles color.


  • Earthquakes are a natural, regularly occuring part of the Earth System.
  • Earthquakes occur all over the globe, including under the oceans.
  • Earthquakes provide evidence that Earth's rigid outer shell is broken into units called tectonic plates. 
  • Different regions of Earth have differing rates of seismicity and quake magnitude.
  • Provides event specific access to a suite of IRIS data products such as EQ Energy  Ground Motion Visualizations Moment Tensors, and Back Projections

Level: Novice

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Related Fact-Sheets

Keep tabs on current seismicity with IRIS's Seismic Monitor. This fact sheet provides an introduction to an interactive display of global seismicity that allows users to monitor earthquakes in near real-time, view records of ground motion, learn about earthquakes, and visit seismic stations around the world.
Fact-Sheet Novice

Many people associate earthquakes with destruction caused by falling buildings or by the creation of a tsunami. While earthquakes may be associated with destruction in the time frame of human activity, in the evolution of the Earth they signal the geological forces that build our mountains and create our oceans. This fact sheet provides an introduction to the causes of earthquakes.

Fact-Sheet Novice
Between 2001 and 2011, more than 18,500 seismic events between Magnitudes 5 and 9.3 were recorded and located by the US Geological Survey. This list highlights some of these recent seismic events that are of special interest because they have caused notable geologic changes to our landscape or devastating destruction to our society.
Fact-Sheet Novice

Knowing precisely where an earthquake occurred is an important piece of scientific information. It can help seismologists identify and map seismic hazards. It is also a fundamental piece of information necessary for facilitating studies of Earth's internal structures. This fact sheet provides an overview of the S-P process to locate an earthquake.

Fact-Sheet Novice

Earth is an active place and earthquakes are always happening somewhere. In fact, the National Earthquake Information Center locates about 12,000-14,000 earthquakes each year! This fact sheet illustrates information on the frequency of earthquakes of various magnitudes, along with details on the effects of earthquakes and the equivalent energy release.

Fact-Sheet Novice

Related Videos

Understanding the magnitude change, thus the relative energy released from say, magnitude 7 to magnitude 8 can be challenging. Dr. Robert Butler (Univ. Portland) uses spaghetti to illustrate the concept by breaking pasta to show how each step up in magnitude represents a huge jump in the size of the pasta bundles. Each step in magnitude is represented by 32 times more spaghetti noodles.



Video Novice

Related Software-Web-Apps

The IRIS Earthquake Browser (IEB) is an interactive map for exploring millions of seismic event epicenters (normally earthquakes) on a map of the world. Selections of up to 5000 events can also be viewed in 3D and freely rotated with the 3D Viewer companion tool.

Software-Web-App Novice

jAmaSeis is a free, java-based program that allows users to obtain and display seismic data in real-time from either a local instrument or from remote stations.

Software-Web-App Intermediate