Monday, March 1, 2010

USC's SedPak

SedPak is software written by the geology department at the University of South Carolina.  So University of North Carolina has the wonderful rock and mineral texture library, and USC has SedPak.

SedPak is freely available and uses the motif graphical user interface in X11/XOrg.  It works very well on Ubuntu 9.10.  This is in stark contrast to FUZZIM, which is only available as a PowerPC binary for Mac OS9.  To my knowledge, there is no source code available for it and there is only one place to get the binary (all those GOPHER links? Very much dead).  It may forever be locked up in the confines of Mac Classic environments running within OSX (or in SheepShaver PowerPC emulator software).

At first glance, its interface is more confusing than FUZZIM.  SedPak uses a server-client interface (common in the *nix world), which can break if a database file has incorrect data.  Despite that, it looks pretty powerful and has many ways to visualize data.  For example, you can create a facies file to help describe the facies deposited in a basin.  A chronostratigraphic log can be generated, as well as sand-silt ratios.  In addition, wells can be defined, and specific portions of basin sediments can be isolated by using the sea level curve.  Carbonates can be included in models and hydrocarbon development can be tracked.

It has a GUI with many tools to *visually* design surfaces, sea level curves, temperature curves, and more.  For those that know spreadsheet-fu, data can be manually entered to create more precise environment models.  From what I understand, SedPak it uses a geometric model rather than the "fuzzy" model employed in FUZZIM.  It is blazingly fast yet seems to take into account most things that FUZZIM does.

I have much to learn about this software and the concepts that drive it.

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