fetch-scripts - command line access to seismic data

Convenient access to seismological data via FDSN and other web services.

The scripts are written in Perl and Python and should run on most systems.

The scripts

FetchData (Perl) - Fetch time series and optionally, related metadata, matching SAC Poles and Zeros and matching SEED RESP files. Time series data are returned in miniSEED format, metadata is saved as a simple ASCII list.

FetchEvent (Perl) - Fetch event parameters and print simple text summary. Works with any fdsnws-event service.

FetchSyn (Python) - Fetch synthetics seismograms from the EarthScope Syngine service. See FetchSyn usage.

Quick start

  1. Download the latest version of desired scripts at the links above
  2. Make the scripts executable (e.g ‘chmod +x FetchData’) if needed
  3. Run script to print usage message

Documentation and examples

Further description and example usage can be found in the tutorial

Using the scripts with other data centers

See documentation on using the scripts with other data centers

Perl requirements

The Perl scripts should run with any relatively recent Perl interpreter. In some cases, particularly for older Perl releases, you might need to install some required modules, namely XML::SAX and Bundle::LWP (libwww-perl). The procedure to install these modules is system dependent, for most Unix/Linux OSes they can be installed using the package management system. In addition to Perl only network access to the EarthScope web services is needed.

For large data requests installing the XML::SAX::ExpatXS Perl module will significantly increase the parsing speed of XML metadata used by all scripts.

Running the Perl scripts on Windows

Most Windows computers do not have Perl by default and one must be installed. Any distribution of Perl should work as long as the required modules are included. The Strawberry Perl distribution for Windows is known to work and is recommended.

Once installed, the Fetch scripts may be run from a command prompt (e.g. Windows PowerShell) by typing perl followed by the name of the script. For example:

PS C:\Users\username\Downloads> perl .\FetchData

Note: the Fetch scripts are command-line oriented with no GUI, double-clicking them in Explorer using does not do anything useful.

The fetch-scripts are an EarthScope product.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Copyright (c) 2018 EarthScope Consortium