Response File Stress Syndrome

Hi all:

Instrument response files are the bane of our existence.

Navigating through the sea of file formats and programs that exist to manipulate instrument response files can be…unpleasant. And maintaining instrument response information across multiple automated or manual processing systems like Earlybird, Earthworm, Seisan, SeisComP, etc. can be a real hassle. Earlybird only accepts the GSE format. SEISAN will accept GSE or RESP formats. Earthworm will accept either pz or RESP formats, depending on the particular module you want to use. And SeisComP, dataless seed volumes.

If you have a an existing response file in dataless format, how do you get a RESP, pz, GSE, … formatted file? Or worse, if you have the raw values- gains, poles, zeros, A0 normalization factor, …, how do you get a dataless seed volume? Fortunately, there is a lot of software to help us. Unfortunately, there is a lot of software to help us and no single all-purpose tool.

Here I provide a road map to help fellow seismologists identify the right program for their needs. Please comment and contribute if I miss anything:


(Note: “resp” is a program in SEISAN AND a type of response file format. I know, confusing.)

I recommend maintaining your response information as dataless seed volumes and then using them to generate the other formats you need using rdseed.

If you are starting from scratch with raw values, I recommend the following:
1. To begin, print this and past it to the desk (You will need it):

2. Use SEISAN’s “resp” program to generate a RESP file from raw values.
3. Test to make sure the RESP-formatted response files looks OK using SEISAN’s “presp” or the Java program JPlotResp. You can also check that your response file is OK by plotting your data against the nominal high and low models with SQLX.
4. Now use PDCC to build your dataless seed volume. From the dataless seed volume you can then easily re-produce your needed RESP files and pz files using rdseed.

If you are starting with nothing more than the knowledge of the type of instruments you have in the field or lab and your instrumentation is commercial-grade (e.g., Earthdata, Nanometrics, …), then use PDCC to build a dataless seed volume and let the Nominal Response Library (NRL) maintained by IRIS set you free. Otherwise, mail me the instrument and let me work my magic ūüėČ


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