What survey formats can be imported into mXrap?

mXrap supports the following survey formats to be used in 3D views:

  • DXF (AutoCAD .dxf)
  • DTM / STR (Surpac .dtm/.str)
  • PNT (.pnt)
  • INP (Map3D Geometry .inp files)

Regarding DXF files, this is a complicated format that AutoCAD often updates with new specifications. Our importer will always be behind the latest updates and therefore incompatible with loading in the very newest DXF formats. When exporting your survey files, you should have compatibility options for older formats. Look for ASCII DXF options R14 or 2000, these will work in mXrap, otherwise it needs a bit of trial and error initially. Binary DXF files are not supported. The other option is to use the ODA File Converter. It is free to download and use to convert DWG and DXF files into other formats.

What’s the difference between updating the mXrap software and updating the root folder?

Some things you see in mXrap are properties of the software, while other things are properties of the root folder.

We often use the software Excel as an analogy. Excel has many built-in capabilities with endless possibilities for creating specific calculations.  The software has powerful capabilities, but without a user constructing the spreadsheet, the power and value are not fully utilised. An Excel user can set up a spreadsheet which, with the required inputs, will provide you with results.  This user can then provide you with that spreadsheet, which you can then use to perform the same calculations with other inputs.

mXrap is like the software Excel that provides the basic tools and the applications are like spreadsheets that can be used to perform specific tasks.  Anybody with enough understanding of the software can build their own app which can be shared with others.

For example, when you make a chart in Excel, the “add chart function” is a property of Excel. What’s in the chart, what’s on each axis, what colour are the lines etc are properties of the spreadsheet.

mXrap is the same, there is an “Add Chart” function. Every chart in mXrap uses the same tool, but the application configures what’s actually displayed in the chart.

mXrap software level changes are things that affect the “Add Chart” function itself. For example the current mXrap charts only plot data on four axes; top, bottom, left and right. If we were to add more possible axes, like a secondary left axis, this would require a change to the software. It isn’t related to the root folder. Another example is the image capturing tool. This is a feature of every chart, 3D view and table at the software level.

If you want an updated Hazard Assessment application, this is like getting an updated spreadsheet. The root folder is essentially a library of data and applications, like a folder full of different spreadsheets and their associated data.

To summarise, if it seems like its a common feature across many areas in mXrap, its probably a property of the mXrap software. If it seems to be something related to a specific app or chart etc, it’s probably a setting in the root folder.

Updating the mXrap software is easy, just download the installer from the website.

Updating the root folder is what we use mXsync for and it’s actually more complicated to manage the root folder than the software. A bit like trying to manage a lot of interconnected spreadsheets. We normally rely on sites to request root updates. If you read about a feature on the blog or watch a training video that seems different to your current version. You probably need a root update. It’s a fairly quick process, we just need a brief connection with teamviewer / webex or goto meeting to perform the update. Contact us at support@mxrap.com.

 

Why aren’t my events updating?

If you notice that you are not getting updated events in mXrap, there are a few possible explanations. In order to troubleshoot the problem, it is good to know exactly how your events are transferred from your seismic database, into mXrap.

The first thing to check is if the events are just being filtered out. In the events table, there is a “Show All Rows” option that will disable all filters and show you every event in the database. Sort by descending time and “Reload Data” and check the latest event time. Cross-check with your seismic processing software to confirm you are definitely missing events. Remember there is a short delay (~ 5 mins) from events being recorded to appearing in mXrap.

If showing all rows unveils your missing events, it’s a filtering issue. Look through the event filters to make sure everything is turned off. It might also be the quality filter. To see what quality settings are applied at your site, refer to the “Event Quality Settings” video here.

 If you have confirmed the events are not updating, go to your root folder and open the #Events Import folder. Inside there will be an all_events and a recent_events evp file (exact folder, name, extension varies slightly between sites). These are the event files that are read by mXrap. Check the time-stamp of the recent_events file, it normally updates within 5 minutes of the latest event recorded. Try opening the file using notepad, it will be sorted by time so check what the latest event is.

If the EVP files in the root folder have the updated events, mXrap is not reading the files correctly. Contact support@mxrap.com for assistance.

EVP files are generated by querying the seismic event database. The recent_events evp is normally updated every 5 minutes and contains the events from the start of the previous month, up to the present. The all_events evp is normally updated every 24 hours and contains all events up until the start of the current month. So there is always up to one month of overlapping events between the all_events and recent_events EVP’s. The EVP file only changes if there is something to change, i.e. the all_events EVP may be checked for updates every 24 hours, but the file may not have any changes for several days or weeks if none of the processing has changed.

If the evp files in the root folder have not been updated, the problem lies in how these files are copied into the root folder from your seismic database. This process varies by site, depending on whether you use IMS or ESG as your seismic service provider.

 

IMS Sites

IMS generate the all_events and recent_events EVP files and normally store them on the seismic server share drive (often a Linux samba drive). Hitting “Reload Data” in mXrap will copy those EVP files (if they’ve changed) into the #Events Import folder in the root. You need to specify the location of the EVP files on the network. This setting is in the “Config Events Import” app, usually at the top of the app list (log in as Admin or Super User). In this app you should see the file paths to the all_events and recent_events files.

Make sure these file paths are correct and try navigating to the files in windows explorer. If you can’t access the files through windows explorer, you will need to ask your IT department for help to get access to the network location. There might also be a password required. If there is no password required, but your local machine is not able to access the files (particularly if you have recently updated Windows 10 or are using a new PC), then you may be experiencing this issue relating to accessing unauthenticated shared folders from Windows 10.

If you are able to access the EVP files on the seismic server, again, check the timestamps and open the recent_events file to see what the latest event is. If these files are up-to-date, it is a problem with the copy-action from the seismic server to the root. Double check the file path in mXrap is correct and try to “Reload Data” again. Contact support@mxrap.com for assistance if mXrap events are still not updated.

If the EVP files on the seismic server are not updated, it is a problem with the IMS query and you will need to contact IMS for assistance.

 

ESG Sites

We have a purpose built program for querying the ESG seismic database and dumping the EVP files into the root folder. The mXrap Export ESG program normally runs on the ESG computer. Check that this is still running. There should be an icon in the system tray. The ESG Exporter needs to know the location of the seismic database .mdb file and the location of the #Events Import folder in the root. Try manually running the query from the Exporter window and look for error messages and report to support@mxrap.com. Common problems are not being able to write files in the root folder (user permissions), ESG Exporter is out-of-date, or the seismic database .mdb has moved or changed format.

The flowchart below summarises the troubleshooting process when your events are not updating in mXrap (PDF version).

Where is the cumulative energy line on the Omori chart?

In early versions of MS-RAP the “Omori” chart included the cumulative energy as a function of time after blasting. You won’t find that line anymore in the default Omori Analysis Tools application.

Although the total energy released has a value, the shape of the cumulative Energy graph inherently has no meaning. The accumulation of a logarithmic parameter is dominated by the largest events and results in a curve with a somewhat arbitrary, random shape. The total energy released is included in the blast table in the Omori Analysis Tools app but the cumulative energy line has no diagnostic value (in fact could be misleading) and does not represent the underlying stochastic process.

To illustrate further, the video below shows a repeated generation of synthetic seismic data where each sample has the same number of events, the same b-value, and the same Omori relationship.

Video Thumbnail
Cumulative Energy Line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are the event magnitudes different in mXrap?

People often notice that the local magnitude of an event in mXrap is different from the magnitude shown in their other seismic software. This is usually because the local magnitude equations do not match.

Local magnitude is a calculated (derived) parameter. Normally its either based on Seismic Energy, Moment/Potency, or a combination of both. You should be able to find the relevant details for your site local magnitude in your seismic waveform processing software (eg WaveVis, Trace), otherwise contact your seismic service provider.

In mXrap, local magnitude can be imported along with the other event details from your seismic service provider although this does have low precision which can effect some of the charts and calculations. The reason for the “stepping” sometimes seen in the frequency-magnitude chart is due to an imported local magnitude of only 1dp precision.

The limited precision is why we usually recalculate the local magnitude from the source parameters according to the following equation.

ML  =  CE x log10(Energy)  +  CM x log10(Moment)  +  C

CE, CM and C are the input parameters required. The most common local magnitude scales are below.

CE = 0,          CM = 2/3,      C = -6          (Moment magnitude, Hanks Kanamori)
CE = 0.272,  CM = 0.392,  C = -4.63     (IMS scale)

ESG have a few other local magnitude options depending on whether they use uniaxial and/or triaxial sensors. These settings are in the ESG Events Import app. The other settings for local magnitude are in the General Setup app under the Magnitude tab. The “Local magnitude settings” video on this page runs through how to change these settings in mXrap.

Contact us at support@mxrap.com for assistance.

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