Session: ObsPy - Developing a Python Framework for Seismology


ObsPy (, is a community-driven, open-source project offering a bridge for seismology into the scientific Python ecosystem. It provides read and write support for essentially all waveform, station, and event metadata formats commonly used in seismology with a unified interface, a comprehensive signal processing toolbox (based on scipy and wrapping some seismological third party C codes) tuned to the needs of seismologists, integrated access to all large seismological data centers, web services and databases, and convenient wrappers to well-established seismological third party codes like libmseed and evalresp.

ObsPy has been in constant development for more than 7 years and nowadays enjoys a large rate of adoption in the community with thousands of users. Successful applications include time-dependent and rotational seismology, big data processing, event relocations, and synthetic studies about attenuation kernels and full-waveform inversions to name a few examples. Additionally it sparked the development of several more specialized packages slowly building a modern seismological ecosystem around it.

This contribution will give a short introduction and overview of ObsPy and highlight a number of use cases and software built around it. We will furthermore show how the ObsPy project has achieved to evolve from the effort of a small group of dedicated people at LMU Munich in 2008/09 to a framework used all around the world by hundreds to thousands of scientists with direct code contributions of more than 50 people and roughly 180 citations in scientific publications.