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PRISM software: Processing and Review Interface for Strong Motion Data

February 2, 2017

PRISM is designed to be used for automatically processing raw strong-motion acceleration time series to produce compatible acceleration, velocity and displacement time series, acceleration, velocity and displacement response spectra, Fourier amplitude spectra, and standard earthquake-engineering intensity measures.

Input to PRISM currently is limited to single-component data files in Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS) V0 format. Output products are COSMOS V1, V2 and V3 files.

The PRISM software consists of two major components: a module-based record processing engine, and a review tool, which is an interactive graphical user interface (GUI) for visually inspecting, editing and processing. The processing engine is integrated into the GUI to help ensure consistency in processing.

Key design features of the processing engine include batch (automatic) processing without the need for human intervention, and tracking of key parameters used in each of the processing steps, which are embedded in the metadata of the data products to ensure the ability to replicate the processed record from the original input.

The PRISM code is written in Java. It is open source, and is easy to install and run as stand-alone software on common operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

PRISM is intended to be used by strong-motion seismic networks, as well as by earthquake engineers and seismologists.

Authors: Jeanne Jones, Erol Kalkan, Christopher Stephens and Peter Ng
Usage: Automatically process raw strong-motion records in COSMOS V0 format and generate COSMOS V1, V2 and V3 products.
Platform: Windows, Mac or Linux
Interface: Command line and GUI
Output: Graphics and text files
Manual: Open file reports and Javadoc
Release Date Version 1.0, February 2017


How to Run PRISM 1.0.0 Using the Command Line

  1. Make sure that you have Java installed, and the version should be 8.0 or higher. If you don’t have Java you can download it freely from
  2. Extract “PRISM”file. The directory/folder “PRISM 1.0.0” will have the “prism.jar” file and sample V0 files under folder and the sample configuration file under “/computed_params/” folder.

  3. Open a terminal window, and Change directory (cd) into the PRISM 1.0.0 directory/folder where the prism.jar file is located.

  4. Type:
    java -jar prism.jar ./computed_parms/in ./computed_parms/out ./config_files/prism_config.xml

    Any error messages that occur while prism is running will be written to the terminal window. The logs are located in the output directory <./computed_parms/out> along with the processed V1-V3 files. Copies of the original V0 files are also written here.

In (4) above, one can replace <./computed_parms/in> with the full path name of the directory where the sample test V0 files are located. Replace <./computed_parms/out> with the full path name of the directory where you want the results to be written. Replace <./config_files/prism_config.xml> with the full path name, including file name, of the configuration file that you downloaded.

Earthquake Seminar

Erol Kalkan, USGS, gave a seminar about PRISM software on August 9, 2017 at USGS, Menlo Park.