List of Geologic Software NDSU Home Page NDSU

Department of Geosciences
North Dakota State University


Below are a few geology related computer programs available around the net.
All comments and descriptions are those of the program authors.

  • Amphbase - amphibole database and calculation
  • Animate - A folding program
  • CET89 - chemical equilibrium
  • Crystal 2.29 - crystal structure visualization
  • Crystalview 1.0 - crystal structure visualization
  • Emp-amph, amphibole recalculation
  • EQS4WIN, chemical equilibrium solver
  • Gresens 92, a mass balance calculation and plotting program
  • Hornblende-plagioclase geothermometry
  • Hyperform - mineral Recalculation
  • Latticemaker
  • PCMolecule and MacMolecule - crystal structure visualization
  • Microworld - crystal structure visualization
  • MINEQL+ - chemical equilibrium modeling
  • Roger Nielsen's magmatic differentiation programs BLF and MIXNFRAC
  • NIH Image - Image Analysis
  • Ortep - crystal structure visualization
  • Paleomag - paleomagnetic plotting
  • PHREEQC - latest version of USGS aqueous geochemical modeling program
  • P-T-t programs
  • Rasmol - molecular visualization
  • Seditools - sedimentology
  • Seismic Duck - Seismic exploration game
  • SOLVCALC - ternary feldspar solvus and two-feldspar geothermometry
  • Stereonet
  • UnitCell - cell refinement
  • USGS_ofr_88-364 - map projection tutorial
  • Petro.calc.plot Here is a link to The Soft Earth, a great index page of geology software sites on the web.

    Rainer Petschick's awesome software compilation, including excel spreadsheet macros.

    The Dept. of Geosciences in Erlangan has programs for X-ray mineralogy and sediment settling

    The Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University has programs for X-ray mineralogy and thermodynamic calculations

    The UK Earth Science Courseware Consortium at (Anonymous ftp: contains a wide variety of teaching software.
    Email address:

    Animate.exe, a Folding Program for high-amplitude folding simulations for PCs written by Kenneth Cruikshank at Portland State University, Portland, OR.

    NIH Image and related programs from the National Institute of Health.

    NIH Image is a public domain image processing and analysis program for the Macintosh. It was developed at the Research Services Branch (RSB) of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    A free PC version of Image, called Scion Image for Windows, is available from Scion Corporation. There is also Image/J, a Java program inspired by Image that "runs anywhere".

    Image can acquire, display, edit, enhance, analyze and animate images. It reads and writes TIFF, PICT, PICS and MacPaint files, providing compatibility with many other applications, including programs for scanning, processing, editing, publishing and analyzing images. It supports many standard image processing functions, including contrast enhancement, density profiling, smoothing, sharpening, edge detection, median filtering, and spatial convolution with user defined kernels.

    Image can be used to measure area, mean, centroid, perimeter, etc. of user defined regions of interest. It also performs automated particle analysis and provides tools for measuring path lengths and angles. Spatial calibration is supported to provide real world area and length measurements. Density calibration can be done against radiation or optical density standards using user specified units. Results can be printed, exported to text files, or copied to the Clipboard.

    A tool palette supports editing of color and gray scale images, including the ability to draw lines, rectangles and text. It can flip, rotate, invert and scale selections. It supports multiple windows and 8 levels of magnification. All editing, filtering, and measurement functions operate at any level of magnification and are undoable.

    Image directly supports Data Translation and Scion frame grabber cards for capturing images or movie sequences using a TV camera. Acquired images can be shading corrected and frame averaged. Other frame grabbers are supported via plug-in modules.

    Image can be customized in three ways: via a built-in Pascal-like macro language, via externally compiled plug-in modules and on the Pascal source code level.

    Example macros, plug-ins and complete source code can be downloaded from the Download page.

    More information about NIH Image can be found in the Overview section of the manual.

    System Requirements
    Image requires a color capable Macintosh and at least 4MB of free RAM. 32MB or more of RAM is recommended for working with 3D images, 24-bit color or animation sequences. System 7.0 or later is required. Image directly supports, or is compatible with, large monitors, flatbed scanners, film recorders, graphics tablets, PostScript laser printers, photo typesetters and color printer

    PaleoMag is an attempt to provide an integrated, graphics-oriented analysis environment for paleomagnetic data. It reads data preferably in CIT format but optionally in tab-delimited format and can display the data in orthographic (Zijderveld) plots, equal-area plots, or J/J0 plots. Users can flexibly choose data points to be fit using the line, plane, or great-circle fits described by Kirschvink (1980). Resulting fit s can be displayed using equal-area or strigraphic plots and mean directions and uncertainties can be calculated using Fisher, Bingham, or non-parametric statistics. These statistics can be based either on sample fits or site averages. Several options for combining line and plane fits are allowed, and a simple reversal test is supported. Plots can be printed or copied to the clipboard but cannot be saved to disk directly.
    Craig H. Jones,

    MicroWorld is a molecular display and analysis program for the Mac. It calculates three dimensional models (Lines, Dreiding, Ball&Stick, Space Fill) from 3D ato m coordinates, e.g. from x-ray data, 3D-databases, publications or other chemistry software; colorization scheme, antialiased sticks and mixed model lines; math coprocessor not necessarily needed.

    MicroWorld requires system 6.07 or higher, a 68020 processor or higher and the presence of Color QuickDraw.

    Structural Geology Programs for the Mac

    Here is the complete URL for the Cornell anonymous FTP server where you can download a Stereonet program as well as other structure programs for the Mac by Rick Allmendinger. Please remember that this software is free to NON-commercial users only.

    You will need to use the complete address to download the files from this site.

    Rick Allmendinger
    Dept. of Geological Sciences
    3128 Snee Hall
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-1504
    Tel. (607) 255-3376, FAX (607) 254-4780
    e-mail: or

    Below are the other programs at this site:

    Stereonet 4.9

    Version 4.9 includes three significant new additions:

    You now have more control over the appearance of the fonts (i.e. type, style, and size) that appear in the Plot window with the Fonts etc. command under the Symbols menu.

    You can now annotate the plot window directly with the Annotate Plot command in the Symbols Menu. Choose this command, click on the spot in the window where you want the left edge of the text to start, and type. Entry is terminated with a RETURN, so you can only enter one line of text (256 characters, max). The font and style are controled by the Fonts etc. dialog box.

    Stereonet now supports printing to any printer from within the program. You can print just the Plot Window or both the Plot and the Record windows together. Note that I had to change around some menu commands to fit with Mac interface guidelines: comma nd-P now prints the Plot window (cmd-P used to save the plot to disk); command-S now saves the plot to disk (cmd-S used to save a text file of the data); and command-D now saves the data to disk as a text file (cmd-D used to give you the current d ata count, which now has no menu command).

    P-T-t computer programs from Frank Spear

    These are programs were originally distributed at AGU and GSA short courses on metamorphic P-T paths. Dr. Spear has published a book on metamorphic phase equilibria and several computer programs to perform calculations of interest to metamorphic petrologi sts. Frank Spear


    Spear, F.S. and Peacock, S.M. (1989) Metamorphic Pressure-Temperature-Time Paths, 102 p. American Geophysical Union,Washington.


    Spear, F.S. (1993) Metamorphic Phase Equilibria and Pressure-Temperature-Time Paths, 799 p.
    Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, D. C."

    General Description of Program Thermobarometry

    The purpose of program Thermobarometry is to perform and plot the results of thermobarometry calculations. The program was written by Matthew J. Kohn at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (now at U. Wisconsin) and has been modified for the Macintosh by F. Spear. An attempt has been made to incorporate all reasonable calibrations of thermobarometers for crustal rocks that have been published in the literature. New code is being added frequently.

    This program manual contains description of computer programs and exercises on how to run the programs. The theoretical background is discussed at length in a set of short course notes published by the American Geophysical Union and distributed at 28th I nternational Geological Congress, which was held in Washington, D.C. in July, 1989 (Spear, F.S. and Peacock, S.M. (1989) Metamorphic Pressure-Temperature-Time Paths, 102 p. American Geophysical Union, Washington.) and is also discussed in Spear, F.S. (199 3) Metamorphic Phase Equilibria and Pressure-Temperature-Time Paths, 799 p. Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, D. C.) among other places.

    Frank Spear;

    Hornblende-plagioclase geothermometry
    hbplag is a public domain application for calculating hornblende-plagioclase geothermometry on the Macintosh. It is based on the thermometers of Holland and Blundy (1994, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., v. 116).

    Also see the link at the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University, which has programs for X-ray mineralogy and thermodynamic calculations.

    Tim Holland
    Dept. of Earth Sciences
    Cambridge CB2 3EQ

    PHREEQC is a computer program written in the C programming language that is designed to perform a wide variety of aqueous geochemical calculations. PHREEQC is based on an ion-association aqueous model and has capabilities for (1) speciation and saturation-index calculations; (2) reaction-path and advective-transport calculations involving specified irreversible reactions, mixing of solutions, mineral and gas equilibria, surface-complexation reactions, and ion-exchange reactions; and (3) inverse modeling, which finds sets of mineral and gas mole transfers that account for composition differences between waters, within specified compositional uncertainties.

    Available from

    Point of contact for PHREEQC:

    U.S. Geological Survey
    Hydrologic Analysis Software Support Team
    R. Steven Regan
    437 National Center
    Reston, VA 20192
    (electronic mail:

    For a version of PHREEQC that you can run directly from your web browser, check out Web-Phreeq!

    Crystal 2.29 is a public domain application for stererographic projection (crystallography) on the Macintosh, written and compiled in Microsoft Quickbasic.

    It draws projections for any crystal system, with great circles as desired. It has a number of utilities, including one which can be used to solve back-reflection Laue patterns. It was developed for use in a Cullity-based X-ray course, and was marketed as a "commercial" product for a few years.

    Crystal 2.29 runs on Mac II series, and MAY still run on earlier smaller Macs.
    It runs with System 6.0.7 and 7.0.

    CrystalView 1.0 is a public domain application for drawing and manipulating crystal unit cells on the Macintosh. It runs on Mac II series, and MAY still run on earlier smaller Macs. It runs with <>System 6.0.7 and 7.0.

    "CrystalView 1.0 is a unit cell drawing Mac application written and compiled in Microsoft Quickbasic. It was written as an educational tool. One enters the crystal coordinates, screen dimension and color of each atom i n the basis group, and defines the unit cell shape and centering (primitive, body-, base- or face-centering) independently of basis group. The cell can be viewed in orthonormal projection from any direction by moving the mouse around in a stereo projecti on circle, or by typing in indices. Drawings can be printed, or copied to the clipboard.

    Since this was written as an educational tool, there is a facility for hiding any desired atoms of the basis group so one can view the configuration of a subset of atoms, say the oxygens in spinel or interior atoms in GaAs. One can attach a tetrahedron t o a group of atoms, but I have never finished a more complete facility for adding other construction lines."

    Thomas H. Kosel
    Dept. Electrical Engineering
    University of Notre Dame
    Notre Dame, IN 46556
    (219) 631-5642
    March 25, 1994

    RasMol 2.5 Molecular Graphics Visualisation tool.

    Roger Sayle
    BioMolecular Structures Group
    Glaxo Research & Development
    Greenford, Middlesex, UK.
    October 1994

    This posting is to announce the release of RasMol version 2.5. This latest version is available for the Apple Machintosh and PowerMac in addition to UNIX, VMS and Microsoft Windows versions. RasMol is a molecular graphics program intended for the visu alisation of proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. The source code is public domain and freely distributable provided that the original author is suitably acknowledged. The complete source code and user documentation may be obtained by anonymous FT P from [] in the directory /pub/rasmol.

    The source code, documentation and Microsoft Windows executables are stored in several files appropriate for the receiving operating system. Please read the "README" file in the distribution directory. UNIX and VAX systems should retreive either RasMol2.tar.Z, RasMol2.tar.gz. Apple Mac users should retrieve rasmac.sit.hqx.

    Microsoft Windows users should retrieve and optionally the Visual Basic package All these files include source code, on-line help, user manual and reference card. RasMac.sit.hqx, and also contain executables for the required platform. Please remember to use "binary" mode when transferring these files between systems. Check that the file size is the same before and after transfer.

    Any comments, suggestions or questions about the package may be directed to the author at "".

    ORTEP ver. 1.12

    Copyright (C) 1992 Norimasa Yamazaki
    Permission to use, copy, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose without fee is hereby granted under the restriction of ORTEP-II, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation.
    This software is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.

    Adapted to Macintosh by
    Norimasa Yamazaki
    University of Electro-Communications
    Department of Physics and Chemistry
    1-5-1 Choufugaoka
    Tokyo 182

    Original ORTEP-II was developed by
    Johnson, C. K.
    Report ORNL-5138
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

    This ORTEP runs on Macintosh series, which is equipped with 68020(30) CPU, FPU, a printer of 300 dpi resolution and System Software 6.07 or later.

    USGS Report 88-364

    This is a Macintosh hypercard stack explaining world map projections used by the USGS.

    UnitCell: a non-linear least squares cell refinement program with regression diagnostics

    UnitCell is a program which runs on Macintosh computers and (in a more rudimentary fashion) under Windows. It refines cell parameters from powder diffraction data. Unlike most existing cell refinement programs it does not require initial estimates for cell constants; it uses a non-linear least squares method, which allows the refinement to be carried out on the actual observed data (e.g. two- theta in the case of angle-dispersive monochromatic diffraction, energy in the case of energy-dispersive diffra ction). Furthermore, the program incorporates regression diagnostics, particularly deletion diagnostics, to aid in the detection of outliers and influential data which could be deleterious to the regressed results. These diagnostic tools are particularly valuable in assessing the sensitivity of the calculated results to the observations of individual Bragg peaks.

    The method and implementation are described in the following paper:

    T J B Holland and S A T Redfern (1997) "Unit cell refinement from powder diffraction data: the use of regression diagnostics". Mineralogical Magazine 61: 65-77.

    If you have trouble downloading from the above link, try

    EMP-AMPH (MOGESSIE A., TESSADRI R. & VELTMAN C.B., 1988) is an interactive Macintosh program written in hypertalk to calculate the structural formulae and tabulate the names of electron microp robe analyses of amphiboles according to the IMA-scheme (Leake, 1978; Rock & Leake, 1984).

    Amph-base, a Macintosh hypercard stack based on emp-amph, is a database of amphibole compositions from Deer, Howie and Zussman, An Introduction to Rock Forming Minerals (1st ed.)

    by Silvia Bjerg (1, 2)
    Aberra Mogessie (1)
    and Ernesto Bjerg (1, 3)
    1- Dept. of Geosciences, Mining University of Leoben, Austria
    2- Dept. of Mathematics, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina
    3- Dept. of Geology, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

    Hyperform is an interactive Macintosh program written in hyperscript which permits the input and calculation of a mineral formula from wet chemical and electron microprobe analysis. It also includes autosaving of data, search a nd sort routines, etc. The calculated formula can be exported to word processing, spreadsheet programs, or graphing programs.

    MacMolecule and PCMolecule version 2

    Interactive, 3D Molecular Modeling Curriculum Development Program, featuring a Video Animation Generation Program, and a Molecular Image Database.

    Molecular Ventures, Inc.

    MacMolecule and PCMolecule create 3D-images of molecules for use in teaching molecular structure to students of biology, chemistry, and allied fields.

    LatticeMaker can be used with Ball & Stick, Chem-3D and MacMolecule to help in the production of images of large bulk structures or super-structures of crystal lattices.

    EQS4WIN Chemical equilibrium solver

    Download from

    EQS4WIN Chemical equilibrium solver

    Download from

    Gresens is a Macintosh program to calculate and plot mass balance changes, usually during alteration of rocks. This program is by:
    Potdevin Jean-Luc
    Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille
    UFR des Sciences de la Terre
    Laboratoire de Sedimentologie et Geodynamique
    59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex
    Tel: 20 43 47 54
    Fax: 20 43 49 10

    and was published in Computers and Geosciences. v. 19. (9). p. 1229-1238. 1993.

    CET89 for the Mac

    Many chemists and chemical engineers are familiar with the NASA chemical equilibrium code by Gordon and McBride. Dating from the early 1970's, this FORTRAN program remains a popular tool for solving complex chemical equilibrium problems. A Macintosh vers ion of this program, called CET89 for the Macintosh, is now available. CET89 for the Macintosh is based on the FORTRAN source code (available from the University of Georgia), by B.J. McBride. Details of the hardware requirements, and some of the features of CET89 for the Macintosh, are listed below. If you would like a free copy of CET89 for the Macintosh, version 1.2.1, please contact:

    Alan S. Feitelberg
    GE Corporate R & D
    Bldg. K-1, Room ES 122
    1 River Road
    Schenectady, NY 12301
    Phone: 518 387-5737
    FAX: 518 387-7258
    Internet E-mail:

    ***Please provide your US mail address. CET89 is distributed ONLY on disk via the US Mail.***

    Feel free to distribute this message to anyone who might be interested in receiving a copy of CET89 for the Macintosh. Although CET89 for the Macintosh is distributed without charge, it is not public domain software, and remains copyright 1994 General El ectric Company.


    Alan S. Feitelberg
    GE Corporate R & D
    Bldg. K-1, Room ES 122
    Schenectady, NY 12301

    A collection of free small applications to convert or calculate some things as used in sedimentology

    The URL is:

    SediTools are in Beta stage (0.9b1). Some new features and functions may be added in next versions.

    Send me an e-mail if you observe any bugs or if you want to suggest improvements or additional tools.

    Rainer Petschick

    Seismic Duck 1.4 (PPC)

    Seismic Duck is an entertaining but educational title for PowerPC Macs that educates you on how seismic waves are used to find oil underground. The easier levels are basic enough for elementary school children, while the upper levels are challenging enough for even professionals familiar with geophysics. The object is to help the duck find oil before going broke.


    SOLVCALC. Save in a new folder that you create. Upon running sv2.exe it will automatically create a variety of files. Two are of interest. one is the Solvcalc.exe which is the program you want, the other is solvcalc.htm which you should open first and gives you instructions. This should be referenced to:

    Wen, S.and Nekvasil, H. (1994) SOLVCALC: An interactive graphics program package for calculating the ternary feldspar solvus and for two-feldspar geothermometry. Computers & Geosciences 20, No. 6, 1025-1040.

    Professor Hanna Nekvasil
    Department of Geosciences
    State University of New York
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-2100

    Roger Nielsen's magmatic differentiation programs BLF and MIXNFRAC

    Roger Nielsen's phase equilibria programs for modeling magmatic differentiation are described in Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta and in Reviews of Mineralogy, vol. 24.
    Here's information on running the programs: Readme - BLF and Mixnfrac
    Below are links to the files.

    The fortran source codes, and PC-executables are available in uuencoded format; a fortran compiler should allow you to run these programs on the platform of your choice.

    On your browser, the files may be unformatted (lacking line breaks). To view the files as formatted documents, use the "view sources" feature on your browser, or download the files and look at them in a text editor using a monospaced font.

    To decode the uuencoded binaries, you will need a uudecoder program, unless your web browser has one built in.


    petro-calc-plot Petro.Calc.Plot
    Gary B. Sidder
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Denver Federal Center
    Box 25046, MS-905
    Denver, CO 80225-0046
    303-236-5607/FAX 303-236-5603

    PETRO.CALC.PLOT is a package of macros that run in Microsoft Excel 3.0 and 4.0 for Macintosh and PC computers. The macros have also been written to run in Microsoft Excel 3.0 and 4.0 for Windows . (only the Mac versions are uploaded on this site right now; contact Gary Sidder if you need them). PETRO.CALC.PLOT minimizes repetition and time required to recalculate and plot whole-rock oxide data for petrologic analysis. Macros provided in PETRO.CALC.PLOT normalize w hole-rock oxide data to 100 percent, calculate the cation percentages and molecular proportions used for normative mineral calculations, compute the apices for common ternary diagrams, determine sums and ratios of specific elements of petrologic interest, and plot 33 X-Y graphs and five ternary diagrams. PETRO.CALC.PLOT may also be used to create other diagrams as desired by the user.

    NDSU Home | Geosciences Home | Instructional Web Sites | Geology in North Dakota |

    B. Saini-Eidukat
    updated April 23, 1999