Alan L. Jones

Research Scientist
PhD (1964) Purdue University
Science 1, G60B, (607) 777-2518


Research Interests:


The program, which runs under Windows, has an extensive database of events. A number of pre-defined maps are included which illustrate the seismicity in various parts of the earth.

Click on the image at the right to see a screen-capture of the program. The buttons do not work for you but will work when the program is run on a PC.

An earlier DOS program was used by CBS News when reporting on large earthquakes. It was used at the time of the Parkfield alert in November 1993, the Northridge (Los Angeles) event of January 17, 1994, the Kobe event of January 17, 1995, and several others. You will know it if you see the caption across the top of the screen: "CBS News Seismic Monitor." In 2011, I was rehired by CBS News to continue improvments to the program. This was brought about by the August 2011 magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia that woke them up to the fact they should have means of covering earthquakes.

Union Pacific Railroad used the program in their dispatch center in Omaha to inform them when they may have to stop trains and inspect the right-of-way.

This program and the Seismic Waves program (see below) are part of theJanet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC which opened September 20, 1997.

The photo is of me and my wife, Barbara, and our daughters Adele and Kendra in front of the 40-inch monitor running Seismic/Eruption on the opening day. Photograph by Paul Doyle.

The Global Volcanism Program (GVP) of the Smithsonian Institution released in 2000 a CD-ROM with the Seismic/Eruption and Seismic Waves programs on them plus lots more such as a photo gallery of eruptions and earthquake damage. The programs are configured as they are at the National Museum of Natural History exhibit. Go to the GVP web page for an order form.

If you would like to use the Windows program, Seismic/Eruption, you can fetch it here: SeismicEruption.readme.txt and SeismicEruptionSetup.exe. For just an update of the executables: SeismicEruptionUpdate.exe.

You can update the earthquakes to within an hour or so of real time. If your computer is connected to the Internet, run Seismic/Eruption and click on "Options/Update hypocenters from USGS."

The program displays both earthquakes and volcanoes. The database of volcanism is from the Global Volcanism Program of the Smithsonian Institution. However, the Smithsonian is no longer updating the database that Seismic/Eruption uses. The eruptions are only complete through 2010.

When the program is running, the user sees lights, which represent earthquakes, flashing on the screen in speeded-up time. The user can control the speed of the action. In addition, the program can show seismicity under the earth in three-dimensional and cross-sectional views.

NOTE: The programs Seismic/Eruption and Seismic Waves can be used by anyone free of charge.

Seismic/Eruption has shaded terrain images which are saved-screen images. If you want to create your own images, you can do this by fetching the 5-minute world topographic file It is about 18 megabytes when unpacked and 11.4 meagbytes as a zip file. For higher resolution images of the continental United States, you can fetch It is even larger: 43 megabytes when unpacked and 15.3 megabytes as a zip file.

2005.03.31: Seismic/Eruption now supports the 2-minute world topographic file ETOPO2 which is larger still: about 110 MB. You can download from: Choose yields better shaded terrain images for regional maps. It includes bathymetry, as does ETOPO5.

2009.12.11: Seismic/Eruption now supports the 1-minute world topographic file ETOPO1, 1-minute resolution, which is about 433 MB. You can fetch from: The file you want is the binary 2-byte integer file called Ref: Amante, C. and B. W. Eakins, ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, 19 pp, March 2009.

Seismic Waves: A program for the visualization of wave propagation

Seismic Waves is a Windows program which illustrates how waves propagate from an earthquake hypocenter to seismic stations throughout the earth. One sees waves propagating out from the epicenter on a three-dimensional view of the earth at the same time one sees waves propagating through a cross-sectional view of the earth. These two wave propagation views are synchronized with actual event waveforms so that as a particular phase arrives at a station, one sees the effect on the seismiogram.

2012.02.20: Program updated. It now has fewer events to make it less confusing and fixes some problems with recent releases.

To use the program, fetch: seiswave.readme and SeismicWavesSetup.exe .

It is possible to add new events by using the Wilbur II facility at the IRIS Electronic Bulletin Board

Seismic Waves for the Web

In December 2015 a new version of Seismic waves was written in cooperation with Russ Welti of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS). I wrote the part which controls the earth, the waves, and the seismograms. Russ wrote the front end allowing the user to manipulate the features. Whereas the earlier Seismic Waves only runs on Windows, this version will run on all modern computers as well as tablets, iPhones, and some Android phones. You can access it here:

Seismic Waves for the Web.

AmaSeis: A program to obtain seismographs from the AS-1 Amateur Seismometer

The AS-1 seismometer is modeled, somewhat, after the design featured in the April 1979 Amateur Scientist column in Scientific American. That design used analog components to amplify the signal whereas the present design is digital with the output going to the RS-232 (communications port) of a personal computer. For more information, click on: AmaSeis

Eqlocate: An interactive program to locate earthquakes using P-wave arrivals

The EqLocate program allows you to select P-wave arrivals of a number of seismograms for an earthquake and find its location. For more information, click on: EqLocate.

Professional Affiliation:

Other Interests


After running for 2 years in high school and 4 years in college, I laid off for 10 years and was inspired to get back into running by Ken Cooper's book Aerobics. I created the Vestal XX, 20 km road race in 1971 and have ran all editions of the race until I was sidelined with arthritis of the spine in 2003..

Jones Counter

To measure the Vestal XX race in 1971, I invented the Jones Counter which is used throughout the world to measure running races. It was used to measure the Olympic Marathons in Montreal (1976), Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), and Athens (2004). The counter was manufactured by my son, Clain, for 9 years who sold the business to the New York Running Club when he went off to college. Later the manufacture was taken over by Paul Oerth. A new model was developed by Pete Riegel and his son. It is available from There is information about the counter in Wikipedia:

RunScore: A program to score running races and triathlons.

The RunScore program is a widely used program to score races through the USA and Canada. The program runs under Windows 98/NT/2000/Me/XP/Vista on PCs and offers fast, flexible race results.The latest version of RunScore can downloaded from

Running (until 2003 when arthritis of lower spine reduced me to walking)

Cross-Country Skiing




Wife: Barbara Grest Jones, Children:


IBM Technical Reports

Issued U.S. Patents

Thanks to Randall Svihla, a former patent examiner who tracked down the correct title of some of the above patents and the U.S. Patent Number of the last two. Before he contacted me, I thought the last two were one patent. (They issued after I left IBM.)

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Last modified June 12, 2012 (alj)