Are you tired of spending countless hours manually processing raw strong-motion acceleration time series? Say goodbye to tedious manual processing and hello to PRISM!

PRISM is a state-of-the-art open-source program, designed to automate the entire process, making it faster, more efficient, and hassle-free.

PRISM produces compatible acceleration, velocity, and displacement time series. It also generates acceleration, velocity, and displacement response spectra, Fourier amplitude spectra, and standard earthquake-engineering intensity measures. This powerful software solution was originally developed at the USGS by Jeanne Jones, Erol Kalkan, Peter Ng, and Chris Stephens.



  • A module-based record processing engine that performs automatic processing without the need for human intervention.
  • A user-friendly review tool that provides an interactive graphical user interface (GUI) for visually inspecting, editing, and processing data.

One of the standout features of PRISM is its ability to ensure consistency in processing. This is achieved by integrating the processing engine into the GUI. In addition, key parameters used in each processing step are tracked and embedded in the metadata of the data products. This makes it easy to replicate processed records from the original input with ease.

  • Batch (automatic) processing without the need for human intervention.
  • Tracking of key parameters used in each of the processing steps.
  • Embedding of metadata in the data products to ensure the ability to replicate the processed record from the original input.


The PRISM software is written in Java, making it a versatile solution that can be easily installed and run as stand-alone software on various operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. As an open-source program, PRISM is freely available to all users.

This powerful software tool is designed to be used by strong-motion seismic networks, as well as earthquake engineers and seismologists. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, PRISM is an essential tool for anyone involved in the processing of raw strong-motion acceleration time series.


Usage: PRISM is a versatile software tool designed to automate the processing of raw strong-motion records in COSMOS V0 format. It generates COSMOS V1, V2, and V3 products with ease.

Platform: PRISM is a cross-platform software solution that can be run on Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems.

Interface: PRISM offers both command line and GUI interfaces, making it easy to use for users of all levels.

Output: The software generates graphics and text files as output, providing users with a comprehensive view of the processed data.

How to Run PRISM 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 http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index-jsp-138363.html.

  2. Extract “PRISM 1.0.2.zip” file. The directory/folder “PRISM 1.0.2” 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 1.0.2 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 step (4) above, you 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.

PRISM, Processing and Review Interface for Strong Motion Data Software

USGS Earthquake Science Center Seminar, Menlo Park, California

Processing and Review Interface for Strong Motion Data (PRISM) Software Version 2.0

KALKAN, E. JONES, J., STEPHENS, C., NG, P., STEIDL, J., BRODY, J. AND GEE, L. Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, 2019.


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