The National Earthquake Information Center (abbreviated NEIC) is part of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) located on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The NEIC has three main missions:
Using a combination of automated tools and human review, NEIC issues moment magnitude and location information as soon as possible after a quake. As earthquake waves take time to travel around the globe, the estimated moment magnitude may change as more information is received. The NEIC uses seismograms recorded in the United States as well as around the globe. While they gather as much data as they can, some nations do not release earthquake data to the United States for political reasons.
NEIC personnel are often sought out by the news media after a large earthquake as experts. Thus the NEIC has a higher public profile than other parts of the US Geological Survey.