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RDMSEED and MKMSEED: Read and write miniSEED files

version (364 KB) by François Beauducel
Imports and exports data files in seismological format "mini-SEED"


Updated 22 Nov 2017

GitHub view license on GitHub

Matlab codes to read and write miniSEED files

Cite As

François Beauducel (2020). RDMSEED and MKMSEED: Read and write miniSEED files (, GitHub. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (43)


Works well on Raspberry Shake data. It is slower than ReadMSEEDFast, but accurately presents the time, whereas ReadMSEEDFast truncates the seconds.

Thanks for the nice code! Is there an easy way to write all components (NEZ) to one mseed file? Thank you, JW

SEED standard recommends big-endian encoding. I might add an option to set little-endian...

Does 'mkmseed" work for little-endian byte ordering? Do I need to edit the code to make it work on PCs? Thanks.

Toni Kraft


Thank you so much Beaudecel for the help and this program.

Dear Zubair,
Just a reminder that miniseed data are always rawdata, mostly with count unit. There is 2 ways to convert the data to physical unit :
1. apply the full instrumental response (will correct most of the sensor frequency weakness);
2. apply only the sensitivity factor (supposes a flat response of the sensor).

First solution needs the complete description of instrument and digitizer, including possible digital filters. This is usually described in the metadata as the "dataless" file. I have not implemented this function yet in Matlab; best way is to use sac software to do so.

Second solution is easier. You just have to find the sensitivity factor in count/(m/s2) or count/g and divide your data D.d by this factor. Look at the sensor specifications / datasheet. If you don't find it you might compute an approximation by dividing the digitizer dynamic range (e.g. 24 bits) by the acceleration range of the instrument (e.g., ± 2 g), that is 2^24/4 = 4194304 count/g.

Can we change seed data (counts) into g or m/sec2 against time step?? Anyone help me

Dear Seong-Bae,
If you get most of your data ok after reading, it means that some data records in your data file have problems, usually due to the digitizer itself during the recording. But if no data came out at all, it probably means you don't use the correct format, endianness or encoding.
Hope this helps.

Hello, Thank you for your code.
But, when I read a miniSEED file, there are warnings "Data Integrity check failure ~~ ".
Could you let me know what is problem ?

Hi Antonis,
After importing the miniseed files, just export the matrix in a .txt file... for multiplexed files, please read the doc. For simple one-channel file, do for example:
>> X=rdmseed('yourfile');
>> fid=fopen('mseed.txt','w');
>> fprintf(fid,'%d\n',cat(1,X.d));
>> fclose(fid);


How could I get the time series (eg in .txt file) from this code?
Yours faithfully

Thanks Dirk,
I am working on a faster version... wait for few weeks the new version !

Dirk Becker

This program really works fine. However, it is a bit slow when reading in miniSEED day files with 100 or 200 Hz sampling rate. Is there any way to speed it up?

Yanyong LI

I can't download it. Can you send it to my mailbox? My mailbox is,Thanks very much。

Jaewon Saw

Thank you so much for this, it helps a lot.
Just a quick question: Is there a way I can convert the plotted data into a table, like in CSV format? Thank you!

Thanks a lot, this is important program

hc zhang

Great work! I'm wondering the unit of output data (say X.d)? Counts or ??

Hi there, the rdmseed program I have works great! Does anyone know how to get it to read a SEED Volume file?

Thank you, this is a very useful tool.

Hi Francois,

Sorry I forget to say thank you to your answer, I have follow you suggestion and it work perfect, it is a very powerful tool!


Wonderful tool to red mseed or seed files.
The output's options ar so great and efficients.
Thank you Dr. Beaudecel.

Hi Kevin,

Yes, the Steim encoding is only for integer values (counts), usually it is used to store raw data like digitizer outputs.

In your case you have 2 solutions:

A. use another encoding adapted to floating point numbers (like IEEE float32 or float64), without compression. But some miniseed readers might not read it...

B. or as you suggest, multiply your data by a coefficient, for instance 1e6, so you will have a 1 µV resolution.




I would like to use this program to generate mseed files with Steim1/2 encoding, but my sensor provides me +/-500mv value so when the mkmseed function cast D to int32, I have only -1,0 or 1. Is there a coefficient to apply when you want to work with steim 1/2?



Hi Guys, I am looking for a function to read seed files contains a large number of earthquake stations, any one can help me???

Thank you François Beauducel.

Dear Mahmood,
The best way to convert miniseed to SAC is outside Matlab using the IRIS tool mseed2sac:
which works for Windows/Linux/Mac.
Install this code and from Matlab, call it using the system() function.

i want to convert mseed to sac in matlab. can every body help me plz


I am sorry, it is my bad. I just realize that it is not same value. it is date vector / datenum. Thank you very much.

Thanks Dicky,
The time vector is in datenum Matlab format (see datenum for description). You must apply the command:


after plotting the data to have time labels (see datetick function).


Hi. Very good work. I've tried with my file and it was plotted very good. But I encounter problem here. The x-axis in the figure show the right label, but in the time vector variable show N-sample by 1 matrix with the same value which is 7.4e5. I try another encoding format but still the same. Do you have any suggestion? Thank you very much.

The problem detected by Robert is solved. Number of plotted channels in multiplexed files is now limited to 20 subplots, with a warning message. For larger number of channels, please use the functional form [X,I]=rdmseed(...) to load and plot what you want (see help).

Hello, when running the a miniSEED file from the NCEDC, I recieve the error "Error using cat. Dimensions of matrices being concatenated are not consistent" (Line 284) Does anyone have any advice or help to offer? Thanks!


Petr Kolar

works intuitively for the first run. thanks.

Extremely useful and very fast. An essential tool!


- fixes an issue with time sampling in the T0,FS mode.

fixes 24-bit uncompressed format reading.

- applies the time correction to StartTime (if needed)
- new option to disable time correction
- fixes a problem when plotting multiplexed channels (thanks to Robert Chase)

fix a bug in time correction reading

- applies the time correction to X.t (if needed)
- Geoscope 16/4 format passed real data archive tests

- accepts time vector T and detects data blocks (gaps and overlaps)
- adds GEOSCOPE 16/3-4 bit gain ranged coding

- Improved endianness automatic detection (see comments).
- Accepts mixed little/big endian encoding in a single file.
- minor fixes.

- fix warning problem in R2013b (bitcmp)
- better header test to guess big/little-endian coding
- adds option 'be' to force big-endian read

adds a verbose mode (option)

Correction of a bug with little-endian file coding and Steim-1/2 data encoding.

mkmseed: add Steim-1 and Steim-2 encoding formats.

Complementary function mkmseed.m allowing to write mini-SEED file.

- Validation of ASCII encoding format (logs)
- Blockettes are now stored in substructures below a single field X.BLOCKETTES
- Add import of blockettes 500 and 2000
- Accept multi-channel files with various data coding

- add input formats for GEOSCOPE multiplexed old data files
- additional output argument with gap and overlap analysis
- create a plot when no output argument are specified
- optimize script coding (30 times faster STEIM decoding!)

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2014a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Inspired by: Reading mini-Seed

Inspired: ReadMSEEDFast