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.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

The Python Papers


3, Number 2




Python Papers

Document Type

Journal Article