Seismic observation

Contact information

Institute office:
PL 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)
00014 University of Helsinki

phone +358-(0)9-1911
fax +358-(0)9-191 51598

Seismic monitoring


Seismic methods are the most efficient ways to observe and locate potential underground nuclear explosions. The seismic monitoring of nuclear explosions and the research connected to it have an important part in the activities of the Institute of Seismology from the very beginning. The basic tasks of the Institute are seismic monitoring for national security and participation in the seismic monitoring of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for Finland.

In 1976-1996 the researchers of the Institute participated in the work of the Group of Scientific
Experts of the Conference of Disarmament. As the result of the disarmament negotiations the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was signed in 1996.

For compliance of the Treaty an international monitoring system (IMS) was created, where an important part is formed by 50 primary and 120 auxiliary seismic stations around the world. The small-aperture seismic station FINES has been operating since 1985 in Sysmä (Central Finland). It was one of the first certified primary stations in 2000. Seismic data from all the stations participating in seismic monitoring are transferred via satellite straight to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna. The Centre operates within the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBT Organization.


Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom)

The Nuclear Weapon Archive