Data Services Newsletter

Volume 15 : No 3 : Winter 2013

SAC Version 101.6a patch release

Please note that there can be short delays in delivery of the software as we must process requests manually. We appreciate your patience.


Download SAC 101.6a

What’s New

SAC Version 101.6a is a patch release that covers a number of bugs and adds a few features (details below). Also, a single PDF version of the SAC manual is now available. This version has also been tested to work on OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).


SAC (Seismic Analysis Code) is a general purpose interactive program designed for the study of sequential signals, especially time series data. Emphasis has been placed on analysis tools used by research seismologists in the detailed study of seismic events. Analysis capabilities include general arithmetic operations, Fourier transforms, three spectral estimation techniques, IIR and FIR filtering, signal stacking, decimation, interpolation, correlation, and seismic phase picking. SAC also contains an extensive graphics capability. Binary distributions are available for current (2013) Mac OSX and Linux operating systems. Other platforms or operating systems must be built from the source code.

Successful builds for v101.6a have been made and tested on PC/Cygwin, Sun/Oracle Solaris and Older Linux and Mac releases. Please note: The Seismic Analysis Code software is available to IRIS Members and Affiliates and Collaborators. However, IRIS will not distribute the SAC software to any country on the embargoed list of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Examples online


The most up to date SAC Users Manual can be accessed online. IRIS DMC keeps an issue tracker page for SAC, which also supplies supplemental documentation:


SAC has a strong support base from its developers and expert users. Please refer to the sac-help listserv, hosted at the IRIS DMC, that provides a forum for SAC users to report possible bugs in the software, exchange ideas and ask questions about SAC usage, installation, portability, etc.

Changes: 2013/11: Version 101.6a

  • FEATURE: A single-file PDF version of the SAC manual is now available
  • FEATURE: Add ESCAPE_STRING token type, similar to QUOTED_STRING, but without quotes on output (Internal)
  • FEATURE: Added token_to_token_list() that splits a STRING token, but leaves others alone. Needed to translate a string variable or token into a list usable in macros
macro> do x list %var
macro> enddo
  • FEATURE: Complain about macro commands outside of macros
  • FEATURE: Spaces in variables are respected (useful in echo)
  • UPDATE: aux/messages and the help file error_messages
  • UPDATE: help pages for CUT and CUTIM have revised examples and descriptions
  • BUG FIX: cutim in v101.6 used incorrect header, reverts to 101.5 behavior
  • BUG FIX: Quoted keys remain quoted (this is v101.5 behavior)
  • BUG FIX: Fixed errors in calls to command evaluate
  • BUG FIX: Lines in macros can now start with SAC> (see help file inline)
  • BUG FIX: macros didn’t handle command-line arguments correctly in v101.6
  • BUG FIX: Interpolate command now exits if dx <= 0 for unequal sampling
  • BUG FIX: Variable replacement now works correctly
  • BUG FIX: Unknown macro variables will now ask for a value
  • BUG FIX: Macro Preamble now skips blank/empty and comment lines
  • BUG FIX: Only report error when deleting unknown variable do not terminate macro
  • BUG FIX: Command rtrend (or rtr) blackboard variables are saved as values, not as strings.
  • BUG FIX: UNDEFINED is now equivalent to -12345 but are returned as UNDEFINED
  • UPDATE: Removed help file syntax. (Obsolete)
  • BUG FIX: Linewidth in bin/sgftox.csh now consistent with other programs
  • BUG FIX: Fixed X axis duplicate zero problem in PLOT (/src/ucf/cnvfta.c)
  • BUG FIX: deleted message: “sac-seismgr: Waveform-id already exist in memory”

Version 101.6 and 101.5c details can be found here.

by Arthur Snoke (1) , Brian Savage (2) and Rob Casey (3)

  • (1) Lawrence-Livermore National Lab
  • (2) University of Rhode Island
  • (3) IRIS Data Management Center
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