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ASEG Technical Standards

The ASEG’s Technical Standards Committee is responsible for implementing industry wide standards to aid in data transfer and data quality.

In recent times the committee has been looking at a range of current geophysical industry issues including common reporting standards for passive seismic and airborne gravity + gradiometry data.  Members who would like to get involved are invited to contact the ASEG Secretariat.

Some areas which have previously been addressed by the committee:

1. Data Transfer Standards


ASEG-GDF2 is a meta-standard that provides a flexible method for defining a wide range of data types. This standard has not been finalised as some guidelines are required for the following components:

  • Channel naming conventions
  • Channel unit specifiers
  • Channel descriptions
  • Datum and Projection details
  • General comment information
  • Survey boundary descriptions

The ASEG-GDF2 standard is available to be downloaded here.

Examples of standard-conforming files have recently been provided.  Sample magnetic, radiometric and gravimetric data files can be used to check output for standard conformance.

The ASEG funded the development of software for creating and validating ASEG-GDF2 format files. This software was written in C by Graham Pilkington and the code is available as a zip file here.

ASEG-ESF: Format for exchange of Electrical Survey Data

ASEG-ESF is a new ASEG standard for the exchange of Electrical Survey Data.

The ASEG-ESF Standard can be downloaded here.

Example ESF Data Files

Example Fortran code for writing EM ESF data files

Example Fortran code for writing IP ESF data files

Example Fortran code for reading IP ESF data files

Other issues which may be addressed in the future include:

Drone Geophysics

The ASEG is a Supporter of the Guidelines for Drone Geophysics.  They are intended to facilitate adoption of best practices by operators of UAV-borne geophysical surveys.  The first Guidelines document, dealing with magnetics, was launched in 2022 following development by an inter-society committee including several ASEG members.  The Guidelines are available for download following registration at

Large data volume encapsulation

Large high resolution surveys by government agencies are creating file storage requirements in excess of the "tar" standard format capability (~1.4Gb). For some time the use of "tar" has been recommended as a universal file exchange mechanism that is available on both PC and Unix platforms. At present, a large survey must be split into manageable chunks. Recommendations for a new standard needs to be discussed.