Data Services Products: EMC-ContributionGuide EarthScope EMC - Model Contribution Guidelines


EMC is a community-supported repository for Earth models with the mission to facilitate share, preview, and access of various geophysical Earth models. The Earth model authors are strongly encouraged to share their geophysical Earth models with the research community through this repository. If you are interested in becoming a contributor to EMC, please follow the guidelines provided on this page.


To contribute your geophysical Earth model to EMC, please include the following (more details provided below):

  • A journal article related to your model
  • [optional] A distributable model bundle or a link to such a bundle
  • [optional] Model coefficients and associated software
  • The pre-gridded model in netCDF format (Users are required to upload their netCDF-3 files to the EMC Model Inspector,, for a metadata check before submission)
  • The reference model (if any)
  • A model summary

Please forward your model bundle and/or your questions to

EMC Earth Model formats

  • FormatnetCDF-3 CLASSIC is the common container for all EMC models. netCDF-4 CLASSIC with compression is recommended for large models.
  • Format conversion – A set of Python applications (EMC Tools) are available from the EarthScope’s GitHub repository to convert the Earth model files from netCDF 3 format to GeoCSV format, and vice versa.
  • Projected and geographic coordinate systems – For information on EMC’s support for the projected coordinate systems, please see the EMC’s newsletter article on this subject.
  • Grid-based and cell-based models – By default, in each 2D and 3D EMC Earth model, the model parameters (at a fixed depth for the 3D models) are single 2D variables that provide the model values at individual grid points. These models are grid-based models. On the other hand, in some models (such as CRUST1.0), the layer is broken into cells (tiles) with the coordinates referring to the center of the tiles. Therefore, in such models, the model parameter is evaluated at the cell center and is applied uniformly to the entire cell. Such models are cell-based models. To identify the cell-based models, a comment is added to the netCDF header indicating that the values are evaluated at the cell centers (see the CRUST1.0 metadata). Unless such a comment appears in the EMC model’s metadata, the model should be considered a grid-based model.

Journal article

Link to a peer reviewed journal article related to the model. Models with an article under review, will be marked as provisional until the article is accepted for publication.

A distributable model bundle

[optional] The original model bundle or a link to a model bundle that includes model, data, scripts, notes and any other relevant material that is intended for direct distribution to the users (a link to this bundle will be placed on the model web page).

Model coefficients

[optional] The model coefficients and the computer code that reads the coefficients and outputs the model values for a specified mesh size and depth. If public distribution of the parameters and codes are desired, they should be included in the public bundle described above.

Pre-gridded model

Your gridded Earth model in netCDF format. You could convert a text file of your gridded model to netCDF format using the EMC Tools. Please see the samples directory for information on the metadata that must be included in your model.

Reference model

The reference model in netCDF format and/or as coefficients of the polynomials describing the reference Earth model. This requirement could be dropped if the contributed model is referencing one of the models already offered by EMC.

Model summary

Information about the model for the model detail page (please use one of the existing model web pages as a template). You could submit the content for the model’s detail page as a text file or as a Word document along with an image for the model and a short caption for it.

Citations and DOIs

To cite EarthScope’s DMC Data Products effort:

  • Trabant, C., A. R. Hutko, M. Bahavar, R. Karstens, T. Ahern, and R. Aster (2012), Data Products at the IRIS DMC: Stepping Stones for Research and Other Applications, Seismological Research Letters, 83(5), 846–854,

To cite Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) data product or reference use of its repository:

To cite the source or reference the use of a particular Earth model hosted by EMC:


  • EarthScope EMC



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