Software Downloads – PQLX


Version 1 Breaklog 2 Language(s) Release date Group(s)






PQLX (PASSCAL Quick Look eXtended) is open-source software for evaluating seismic station performance and data quality.

This current P4 release is a patch release to address a potential compilation issue in the previous 2011.365.P1 release. More details can be found in the Revision History tab. PQLX is compatible with external dependency MySQL 5.6, but not with MySQL 5.7.

Notice: PQLX software is no longer maintained and will not be updated in the future.


PQLX (PASSCAL Quick Look eXtended) is open-source software authored by Richard Boaz (Boaz Consultancy) for evaluating seismic station performance and data quality. The software primarily consists of a server and client but also includes data extraction and migration tools. Given waveform data and instrument response files, PQLX server calculates trace statistics, Power Spectral Densities (PSD), and Probability Density Functions (PDF) and writes the results to a MySQL database for quick access. The PQLX client used to access these results includes a GUI which is comprised of three parts:

  1. Trace Viewer: The Trace Viewer has the same functionality as PQL (PASSCAL Quick Look). The user can view trace data, filter, and calculate spectra.
  1. PDF Viewer: Accessing PSD and PDF information in the database, the PDF Viewer displays PDF plots using predefined and/or user-defined time windows.
  1. Station Viewer: After connecting to the database, the Station Viewer displays trace statistics (e.g. max/min values and gap counts), PDF thumbnails, and available trace data. The trace data is not stored in the MySQL database, but must be available via either the filesystem or a supported webservice. Additional waveform analysis functionality is available in the Analysis tab.

PQLX is compatible with the Linux, Mac OSX, and Solaris operating systems. Waveform data are supported in Mini-SEED, SAC, SEGY, AH, nano, and DR100 data formats and response files must be in SEED RESP file format.

The PSD and PDF calculations are based on the algorithm by

D.E. McNamara and R.P. Buland, Ambient Noise Levels in the Continental United States, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 94, 4, 1517-1527, 2004.

PQLX at the IRIS Data Management Center

PQLX is used at the IRIS DMC in conjunction with the Earthscope USArray project. Analysts review data from the 400+ active Transportable Array and Backbone Array stations on a regular basis, checking for issues such as instrument failures, poor data quality, high noise levels, and metadata inaccuracy. This quality control effort ensures that potential problems are detected early and that a high quality dataset is archived and made available to the research community.


PQL (PASSCAL Quick Look) is also available as a standalone download. PQL is a smaller, lighter version of the application, which does not include a MySQL database, PDF plotting, or the Station Viewer tool.

Like PQLX, PQL is released as source code, and must be compiled.

PQLX and PQL are independent packages. Neither is required for the other.

Where to download PQL and PQLX software

Both packages are available through the PQLX request form.

Additional necessary software downloads

The PQL and PQLX packages depend on a number of external libraries including:

Additional information links

PQLX development funded by

  • IRIS Data Management Center, Seattle, WA
  • IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center, Socorro, NM
  • National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • United States Geological Survey, Golden, CO
  • Richard Boaz, Boaz Consultancy, Germany


Plotting and Display

External Developers

  • Richard Boaz, Boaz Consultancy (BOAZ)



1 – Click the version release to view details about each package release including screenshots, manuals/how–to's, and revision histories. If more than one version is listed it means that a specific set of functionality was added or removed and legacy versions that preserve behaviors are archived.

2 – A list of changes that are not backwards compatible. More than one version of a package will be listed if this field has an entry.

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