Downloading an Earthquake or Earthquake Set From the PEPP Website


One of the primary functions of the PEPP program is the sharing of data among schools. The only way this will become a reality is for teachers and students to regularly make use of the data to make data sets for teacher and student use. The process for obtaining this data is relatively simple; most of the process is just following prompts on the PEPP website. The sets of data can then be used for triangulation of epicenters, picking P and S wave arrival times, or even looking for other body wave and surface wave features. A set can be made to show the progression of wave travel outward from the epicenter.

1. Open NETSCAPE or INTERNET EXPLORER to the Princeton PEPP website at or go to the IU PEPP website at, and click on the link to Princeton.

2. When you are at the Princeton PEPP website, scroll down to the bottom of the main page. Click the link "Recent Earthquakes."

It should look something like this:

Date        Time(UT)   Lat    Lon   Depth  mb  Ms  Ml     Location
06/04/1999    04:25:56  53.92N 164.22W   33      5.3       UNIMAK ISLAND REGION
06/06/1999    07:08:05  13.83N  90.91W   33      5.8       NEAR COAST OF GUATEMALA
06/15/1999    20:42:01  18.33N  97.39W   33      6.5       CENTRAL MEXICO
06/18/1999    10:55:25   5.46N 126.66E   33      6.2       MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
06/21/1999    17:43:01  18.33N 101.40W   33      5.7       GUERRERO, MEXICO

This is a list of the 5 most recent events in the PEPP database. You may choose one of these earthquakes, or you can see the full database by clicking onto the link below the 5 recent quakes.
If you go to the
full PEPP database choose the year and then click on the event you wish to download.

3. Click on an event you would like to download. It will show all of the stations that have sent data.

4. Click the button. You will again get a listing of available seismograms, Like this :

PPFCH 52.5 5837 ---,---,---,---,---,---,BHZ,---,--
PPUHS 29.4 3269 ---,---,---,MHZ,---,---,---,---,--
PPCWF 51.8 5760 ---,---,---,MHZ,---,---,---,---,---
PPSAH 43.9 4881 ---,---,---,MHZ,MHN,---,---,---,---
PPEGH 52.5 5837 ---,---,---,MHZ,---,---,---,---,---
PPBNL 52.8 5871 ---,---,---,MHZ,---,---,---,---,---

MHZ is a continuous file seismogram, typically recorded at a lower sampling rate, such as 2 samples per second. The Z signifies the vertical component. A BHZ file is typically made with a higher sampling rate, such as 20 samples per second. MHN is a continuous seismogram in the North/South direction, and MHE is a seismogram in the East/West direction.

5. Decide on three seismograms to download. Write their station names (blue text) on another paper so you won’t forget.

6. Scroll down the page to Option Two. The other options give you too big a file handle in SWAP (it will do it, but it will be slow)

7. Type in the station names (e.g., PPEGH). The station name and the MHZ should be in all caps. Type a comma after the first choice, then the second choice with no space between the command and the second station. If you add a period and MHZ or BHZ, you can specify only certain forms of data. The request might look something like this:

If you are using the set for triangulation, it would be best to choose stations at relatively large distances from one another.


9. Click and you will be prompted to specify where the set should be downloaded. If you want to save it to a floppy disk, insert a floppy and set it to download to A:\ . If you want to save it to disk specify the download location to DESKTOP or to a folder and file location on your hard disk.