Data Services Products: EMC-DesktopTools IRIS EMC - Desktop Tools


The contributed Earth models to EMC are available for download from the model overview pages or IRIS’ Searchable Product Depository (SPUD) in netCDF (network Common Data Form) format. These models are compatible with those desktop visualization systems that support netCDF data files. This page provides a short introduction on installation and model loading for some free Java-based desktop applications that allow 3-D visualization of complex solid earth data.


The IRIS Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) ParaView Plug-ins

The EMC-ParaView Plug-ins bundle is set of Python programmable filters/sources to allow ParaView, an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization application (on macOS® and Linux® platforms), to display EMC netCDF models along with other auxiliary Earth data:

Read Earth Models
  • EMC netCDF-3 2D & 3D models (link)
  • User’s netCDF-3 2D & 3D
Display USGS Slab 1.0 models
Surface Elevation Data
  • Other Topography data
Draw Boundaries
  • Coastline/national
  • Plate boundaries
  • User GeoCSV data
  • Line data
Volcano Locations
  • WOVOdat)
  • User GeoCSV data
  • Point data
Earthquake Locations
  • USGS Event Service
  • User GeoCSV data
  • Point data

EMC-ParaView Plug-ins
EMC-ParaView Plug-ins display for CAM2016, a global upper mantle surface wave
tomography model by Keith Priestley and Tak Ho, 2016. The image displays dVsvr,
perturbation of the vertical component shear wave speed w/t reference model (rmod),
at the depth of 500 km. Coastline, plate boundaries earthquake locations and a vertical
slice of the model are also displayed.

ParaView Plug-ins
The above animation displays IRIS DMC ParaView plug-ins capabilities using EMC model
US-SL-2014 by Schmandt & Lin (2014). US-SL-2014 is a P and S teleseismic body-wave
tomography of the mantle beneath the United States. Animation displays coastline data,
plate boundaries, earthquake locations and horizontal and vertical slices of this model
(click on the image to play the video).

Moho temperature at depths varying from 20 to 50 km. Red triangles represent volcano
locations from WOVOdat.

The UNAVCO Integrated Data Viewer (IDV)

The UNAVCO IDV is a free Java-based desktop application that allows 3-D visualization of complex solid earth data. EMC’s netCDF Earth model data files are IDV compatible and IDV could be used to make complex visualization of EMC’s Earth models, including:

NOTE: UNAVCO is no longer supporting the IDV package

Man computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS-V)

McIDAS-V is a free Java-based desktop application built on VisAD and Unidata’s IDV and incorporates the functionality of McIDAS-X and HYDRA for viewing data, developing algorithms, and validating results

To view the EMC models in McIDAS-V:

1. download and install McIDAS-V
2. download the desired EMC Earth model(s) in netCDF format

Data Explorer
3. launch McIDAS-V and in its Data Explorer window select Data Source > Gridded Data > Local
4. browse and select the desired netCDF Earth model
5. click on Add Source to load the selected file

Create Display
6. select field, display type, level and region from the Field Selector panel and click on the Create Display button

Layer Controls
7. tune the display parameters using the Layer Controls panel

8. selected map is now displayed and you may work with it using the McIDAS-V controls

Citations and DOIs

To cite IRIS 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 IRIS 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:


  • Bedle, H., and S. van der Lee. 2009. “S velocity variations beneath North America.” J. Geophys. Res. 114:B07308.
  • Burdick, S., R. D. van der Hilst, F. L. Vernon, V. Martynov, T. Cox, J. Eakins, G. Karasu, J. Tytell, L. Astiz, and G. L. Pavlis. 2010. “Model update January 2010; upper mantle heterogeneity beneath North America from P-wave travel time tomography with global and USArray transportable array data.” Seism. Res. Lett., 81(5), pp. 689-693. doi
  • Obrebski, M., R.M. Allen, F. Pollitz, and S.-H. Hung. 2011. “Lithosphere-asthenosphere interaction beneath the western United States from the joint inversion of body-wave traveltimes and surface-wave phase velocities.” Geophys. J. Int. 185:1003-1021.
  • Pavlis, G.L , K. Sigloch, S. Burdick, M.J. Fouch, and F. Vernon. 2012. “Unraveling the geometry of the Farallon Plate: Synthesis of three-dimensional imaging results from the USArray.” in press, Tectonophysics, 2012.
  • Schmandt, B. and E. Humphreys. 2010a. “Complex subduction and small-scale convection revealed by body-wave tomography of the western United States mantle.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 297, 435-445,
  • Sigloch, K. 2011. “Mantle provinces under North America from multifrequency P wave tomography.” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18(2), Q02W08,




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