Seismic waves are infrasound, or low-frequency sound waves. Seismometers are microphones that record this sound digitally. We should use our ears to study these streams of time series data.
I wrote two software tools, sac2wav and sac2midi, to make seismic waves audible.
The sac2wav tool produces a wav file from SAC files through a time-lapse process. When you play back the wav file, your ears can listen to an hour of seismic activity in 30 seconds.
The sac2midi tool produces a midi file from SAC files through a musical sonification process that does not require a time lapse. When you play back the midi file, your ears can listen to seismic activity represented as musical notes. (I am still working out some issues on this one so it isn’t ready to go online yet.)
The “SAC” file format represents seismic data. I get my seismic data from iris.edu in the miniSEED format. Next, I use their mseed2sac utility to create SAC files, which are then fed into either sac2wav or sac2midi.