What is PRESTo?

PRESTo is a free and open source software platform for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW)(external link). It integrates recent algorithms for real-time, rapid earthquake location, magnitude estimation and damage assessment.

It is a lightweight, graphical application easily installable on either Windows, Linux or Mac. PRESTo is self-contained: it does not require any other seismic software or platform to run, just the ground motion data from a seismic network.

PRESTo is mainly targeted at: managers of seismic networks, civil protections, owners of seismic sensors, companies providing seismic sensors and data-loggers and scientists in the field of seismology and earthquake engineering who are interested in characterizing within seconds (if supported by an adequate network infrastructure) the damaging potential of an occurring earthquake, with the possibility to provide personalized alarm messages to any number of end-users.

The system is in real-time operation on the Irpinia Seismic Network (ISNet)(external link) since 2009. Real-time testing is also underway in South Korea on the KIGAM(external link) network (Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources), in Romania on RoNet(external link) - Romanian Seismic Network (National Institute of Research and Development for Earth Physics) and in Turkey, Marmara region on the KOERI(external link) network (Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute).

PRESTo continually processes real-time streams of three-component acceleration data (or optionally velocity data) for P-waves arrival detection. These data are normally streamed from the stations using a SeisComP(external link) server via the SeedLink(external link) protocol, but they can also be read from files (in SAC(external link) format), in order to provide a simulation mode whereby waveforms of past events can be played back into the system. While a (real or simulated) event is occurring, the software promptly performs event detection and provides location and magnitude estimates as well as shaking predictions at target sites.

The earthquake location is obtained by an evolutionary, real-time probabilistic approach based on an equal differential time formulation. At each time step, the algorithm uses information from both triggered and not-yet-triggered stations. Magnitude estimation exploits empirical relationships that correlate this parameter to the filtered peak displacement (Pd) measured over the first 2-4 s of P- and S-waves signal. Finally, peak ground-motion parameters at remote sites can be estimated through ground motion prediction equations once location and magnitude are available.

Alarm messages containing the evolutionary estimates of source and target parameters, sent over the internet, can thus reach vulnerable infrastructures at a distance before the destructive waves, enabling the initiation of automatic safety procedures.

ISNet exemple files

Main Features

About Us

RISSC-Lab(external link) is a laboratory comprised of researchers from the Department of Physics of the University "Federico II" of Naples (Italy), and AMRA(external link) s.c.a.r.l. RISSC-Lab is coordinated by Aldo Zollo(external link), full professor of Seismology.

RISSC-Lab carries out research and technological development activities in theoretical and experimental seismology, and is financed through national and international scientific projects.
AMRA s.c.a.r.l., Center of Competence in the field of Analysis and Monitoring of Environmental Risk, is a permanent research enterprise devoted to developing innovative methodologies to approach environmental problems.


The research work behind PRESTo has been supported by the Italian DPC-S5 project. Part of the work has been carried out within the SAFER project (Seismic Early Warning for Europe), founded by the European Community via the Sixth Framework Program for Research. Current development support is provided by Early Warning related Work Packages of these projects: NERA(external link) (Network of European Research Infrastructures for Earthquake Risk Assessment and Mitigation, 2010-2014) and REAKT(external link) (Strategies and Tools for Real-Time Earthquake Risk Reduction, 2011-2014). Further development specifically aimed at applications to nation-wide networks has been funded by KIGAM(external link) (Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources).


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