seismic-py: Reading seismic data with Python


Abstract


The field of seismic exploration of the Earth has changed
dramatically over the last half a century. The Society of Exploration
Geophysicists (SEG) has worked to create standards to store the vast
amounts of seismic data in a way that will be portable across computer
architectures. However, it has been impossible to predict the needs of the
immense range of seismic data acquisition systems. As a result, vendors have
had to bend the rules to accommodate the needs of new instruments and
experiment types. For low level access to seismic data, there is need for a
standard open source library to allow access to a wide range of vendor data
files that can handle all of the variations. A new seismic software package,
seismic-py, provides an infrastructure for creating and managing drivers for
each particular format. Drivers can be derived from one of the known formats
and altered to handle any slight variations. Alternatively drivers can be
developed from scratch for formats that are very different from any previously
defined format. Python has been the key to making driver development easy
and efficient to implement. The goal of seismic-py is to be the base system
that will power a wide range of experimentation with seismic data and at the
same time provide clear documentation for the historical record of seismic
data formats.

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