Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0263-5046
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2397


Popular microcomputers are currently finding a wide application in data handling for small-scale non-seismic geophysical exploration programmes. Adopting a simple standard structure for data files on such computers enhances efficiency in that all programs can operate immediately on all data. The choice of a data structure is arbitrary and so should exploit a number of obvious potential advantages. We define our choice of structure and our reasoning. We adopt a row-and-column format using ASCII characters which enable the use of many commercially available text-editing or word-processing programs to edit and manipulate data files. A three-line header defines the data contained in the bulk of the file. We use two robust, flexible and user-friendly subroutines to (a) read and (b) write data files. These may then be used in all programs requiring either of these functions. In combination with the file headers, these subroutines effectively make the data self-labelling. We demonstrate the convenience of this system using examples of programs from a software suite ('Geosoft'®) we have developed to cater for the data display and manipulation needs normally encountered during the progress of a geophysical survey. We advocate the widespread adoption of this type of data structure so that the advantages may be shared by the geophysical exploration community as a whole.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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