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Since 2011 IRIS Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) has served as a community-supported repository of Earth models with the aim of providing access to various Earth models with a uniform format (Network Common Data Form, netCDF). EMC also provides a set of online 2D visualization tools for model preview, which allow users to produce a variety of horizontal slices, vertical slices and velocity profiles from the Earth models. Auxiliary data such as topography, earthquake locations, plate boundaries, etc. may also be included on these plots.

EMC’s 3D visualization tool is an open source Python desktop application that uses Python-based MayaVi Data Visualizer 3D application to provide simple 3D visualization capabilities for Earth models. The intent of this package (available for download under the Files area is to bridge the gap between very complex viewers such as Unidata’s Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) and Parallel Visualization Application (ParaView) and simple 2D model slices that EMC already provides via its web-based visualization tools. For system requirements and installation instructions visit the Wiki page.


We welcome patches and enhancements to this software. When developing patches, please pay particular attention to ease of use and maintenance and also keep dependencies to a minimum (contact the project).

Figure. A horizontal slice from the GyPSuM Earth model by Simmons, Forte, Boschi & Grand (2010) depicting P-wave velocity perturbations with respect to the 1-s isotropic equivalent PREM

Other Information

  • Category: Plotting & Display
  • Language: Python
  • Keywords:

    Python, EMC, MayaVI,netCDF,Earth Models,Seismic,Tomography,Visualization

Issue tracking

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Manager: Manochehr Bahavar