Graphical Dispersion Plot Editor (DPE) for Seismic-Site Characterization by Using Multiple Surface-Wave Methods

Open-File Report 2020-1065
By: , and 



To understand the behavior of potentially damaging ground motions during earthquakes, seismic-site effects are routinely characterized by using the dispersion of surface waves. Many methods exist to measure dispersion; these methods have various advantages and disadvantages, but they all yield dispersion data that must be inverted for shear-wave velocity. This report presents a graphical tool for efficiently removing spurious data as well as combining data from multiple methods prior to inversion.

The Dispersion Plot Editor (DPE) program presented here (version 1.5) is coded in Python 3, which is open source and platform independent. DPE accepts input dispersion data as one or more delimited text files. The program plots the data in useful forms, including both scattered points and an interpolated heat map. The user selects points to delete by drawing arbitrary shapes with the mouse cursor. After the spurious data are removed, the user may represent the acceptable data with a dispersion curve. The acceptable data and the representative dispersion curve are output as separate comma-delimited text files. Images of the plotted data and the representative dispersion curve may also be saved.

Suggested Citation

McPhillips, D., Yong, A.K., Martin, A., and Stephenson, W.J., 2020, Graphical Dispersion Plot Editor (DPE) for seismic-site characterization by using multiple surface-wave methods: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1065, 8 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Method for Calculating the Representative Dispersion Curve
  • Weighting the Data
  • System Requirements and Installation Instructions
  • Input and Output Conventions
  • Quick-Start Guide
  • Workflow Example
  • Troubleshooting
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Graphical Dispersion Plot Editor (DPE) for seismic-site characterization by using multiple surface-wave methods
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1065
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201065
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description Report: iii, 8 p.; Appendix
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details