Geographic primitives

Various primitives are needed to define seismic sources location and shape. Those implemented include point, line and polygon.

Mesh objects are used only internally.


Module openquake.hazardlib.geo.point defines Point.

class openquake.hazardlib.geo.point.Point(longitude, latitude, depth=0.0)[source]

This class represents a geographical point in terms of longitude, latitude, and depth (with respect to the Earth surface).

  • longitude (float) – Point longitude, in decimal degrees.
  • latitude (float) – Point latitude, in decimal degrees.
  • depth (float) – Point depth (default to 0.0), in km. Depth > 0 indicates a point below the earth surface, and depth < 0 above the earth surface.

The distance between two points for them to be considered equal, in km.


Compute the azimuth (in decimal degrees) between this point and the given point.

Parameters:point (Instance of Point) – Destination point.
Returns:The azimuth, value in a range [0, 360).
Return type:float
closer_than(mesh, radius)[source]

Check for proximity of points in the mesh.


Numpy array of boolean values in the same shape as the mesh coordinate arrays with True on indexes of points that are not further than radius km from this point. Function distance() is used to calculate distances to points of the mesh. Points of the mesh that lie exactly radius km away from this point also have True in their indices.


Compute the distance (in km) between this point and the given point.

Distance is calculated using pythagoras theorem, where the hypotenuse is the distance and the other two sides are the horizontal distance (great circle distance) and vertical distance (depth difference between the two locations).

Parameters:point (Instance of Point) – Destination point.
Returns:The distance.
Return type:float
distance_to_mesh(mesh, with_depths=True)[source]

Compute distance (in km) between this point and each point of mesh.

  • meshMesh of points to calculate distance to.
  • with_depths – If True (by default), distance is calculated between actual point and the mesh, geodetic distance of projections is combined with vertical distance (difference of depths). If this is set to False, only geodetic distance between projections is calculated.

Numpy array of floats of the same shape as mesh with distance values in km in respective indices.

equally_spaced_points(point, distance)[source]

Compute the set of points equally spaced between this point and the given point.

  • point (Instance of Point) – Destination point.
  • distance (float) – Distance between points (in km).

The list of equally spaced points.

Return type:

list of Point instances

classmethod from_vector(vector)[source]

Create a point object from a 3d vector in Cartesian space.

Parameters:vector – Tuple, list or numpy array of three float numbers representing point coordinates in Cartesian 3d space.
Returns:A Point object created from those coordinates.

Check if this point is defined on the surface (depth is 0.0).

Returns:True if this point is on the surface, false otherwise.
Return type:boolean
point_at(horizontal_distance, vertical_increment, azimuth)[source]

Compute the point with given horizontal, vertical distances and azimuth from this point.

  • horizontal_distance (float) – Horizontal distance, in km.
  • vertical_increment (float) – Vertical increment, in km. When positive, the new point has a greater depth. When negative, the new point has a smaller depth.

The point at the given distances.

Return type:

Instance of Point


Create a circular polygon with specified radius centered in the point.

Parameters:radius – Required radius of a new polygon, in km.
Returns:Instance of Polygon that approximates a circle around the point with specified radius.

Generate WKT (Well-Known Text) to represent this point in 2 dimensions (ignoring depth).


Alias for .longitude


Alias for .latitude


Alias for .depth


Module openquake.hazardlib.geo.line defines Line.

class openquake.hazardlib.geo.line.Line(points)[source]

This class represents a geographical line, which is basically a sequence of geographical points.

A line is defined by at least one point.

Parameters:points (list of Point instances) – The sequence of points defining this line.

Calculate and return weighted average azimuth of all line’s segments in decimal degrees.

Uses formula from

>>> from openquake.hazardlib.geo.point import Point as P
>>> str(Line([P(0, 0), P(1e-5, 1e-5)]).average_azimuth())
>>> str(Line([P(0, 0), P(0, 1e-5), P(1e-5, 1e-5)]).average_azimuth())
>>> line = Line([P(0, 0), P(-2e-5, 0), P(-2e-5, 1.154e-5)])
>>> '%.1f' % line.average_azimuth()

Calculate and return the length of the line as a sum of lengths of all its segments.

Returns:Total length in km.

Check if this line is defined on the surface (i.e. all points are on the surfance, depth=0.0).

Returns:True if this line is on the surface, false otherwise.
Return type:boolean

Resample this line into sections.

The first point in the resampled line corresponds to the first point in the original line.

Starting from the first point in the original line, a line segment is defined as the line connecting the last point in the resampled line and the next point in the original line. The line segment is then split into sections of length equal to section_length. The resampled line is obtained by concatenating all sections.

The number of sections in a line segment is calculated as follows: round(segment_length / section_length).

Note that the resulting line has a length that is an exact multiple of section_length, therefore its length is in general smaller or greater (depending on the rounding) than the length of the original line.

For a straight line, the difference between the resulting length and the original length is at maximum half of the section_length. For a curved line, the difference my be larger, because of corners getting cut.

Parameters:section_length (float) – The length of the section, in km.
Returns:A new line resampled into sections based on the given length.
Return type:An instance of Line

Resample the line to a specified number of points.

Parameters:num_points – Integer number of points the resulting line should have.
Returns:A new line with that many points as requested.


Module openquake.hazardlib.geo.polygon defines Polygon.

class openquake.hazardlib.geo.polygon.Polygon(points)[source]

Polygon objects represent an area on the Earth surface.

Parameters:points – The list of Point objects defining the polygon vertices. The points are connected by great circle arcs in order of appearance. Polygon segment should not cross another polygon segment. At least three points must be defined.
Raises ValueError:
 If points contains less than three unique points or if polygon perimeter intersects itself.

Extend the polygon to a specified buffer distance.


In extreme cases where dilation of a polygon creates holes, thus resulting in a multi-polygon, we discard the holes and simply return the ‘exterior’ of the shape.

Parameters:dilation – Distance in km to extend polygon borders to.
Returns:New Polygon object with (in general) more vertices and border that is approximately dilation km far (measured perpendicularly to edges and circularly to vertices) from the border of original polygon.

Get a mesh of uniformly spaced points inside the polygon area with distance of mesh_spacing km between.

Returns:An instance of Mesh that holds the points data. Mesh is created with no depth information (all the points are on the Earth surface).

Check for intersection with each point of the mesh.

Mesh coordinate values are in decimal degrees.

Parameters:meshopenquake.hazardlib.geo.mesh.Mesh instance.
Returns:Numpy array of bool values in the same shapes in the input coordinate arrays with True on indexes of points that lie inside the polygon or on one of its edges and False for points that neither lie inside nor touch the boundary.

Generate WKT (Well-Known Text) to represent this polygon.

openquake.hazardlib.geo.polygon.UPSAMPLING_STEP_KM = 100

Polygon upsampling step for long edges, in kilometers. See get_resampled_coordinates().

openquake.hazardlib.geo.polygon.get_resampled_coordinates(lons, lats)[source]

Resample polygon line segments and return the coordinates of the new vertices. This limits distortions when projecting a polygon onto a spherical surface.

Parameters define longitudes and latitudes of a point collection in the form of lists or numpy arrays.

Returns:A tuple of two numpy arrays: longitudes and latitudes of resampled vertices.


Module openquake.hazardlib.geo.mesh defines classes Mesh and its subclass RectangularMesh.

Simple mesh

class openquake.hazardlib.geo.mesh.Mesh(lons, lats, depths=None)[source]

Mesh object represent a collection of points and provides the most efficient way of keeping those collections in memory.

  • lons – A numpy array of longitude values of points. Array may be of arbitrary shape.
  • lats – Numpy array of latitude values. The array must be of the same shape as lons.
  • depths – Either None, which means that all points the mesh consists of are lying on the earth surface (have zero depth) or numpy array of the same shape as previous two.

Mesh object can also be created from a collection of points, see from_points_list().


Tolerance level to be used in various spatial operations when approximation is required – set to 5 meters.

classmethod from_points_list(points)[source]

Create a mesh object from a collection of points.

Parameters:point – List of Point objects.
Returns:An instance of Mesh with one-dimensional arrays of coordinates from points.

Find closest point of this mesh for each one in mesh.

Returns:Mesh object of the same shape as mesh with closest points from this one at respective indices.

This method is in general very similar to get_min_distance() and uses the same openquake.hazardlib.geo.geodetic.min_distance() internally.


Get a convex polygon object that contains projections of all the points of the mesh.

Returns:Instance of openquake.hazardlib.geo.polygon.Polygon that is a convex hull around all the points in this mesh. If the original mesh had only one point, the resulting polygon has a square shape with a side length of 10 meters. If there were only two points, resulting polygon is a stripe 10 meters wide.

Compute and return distances between each pairs of points in the mesh.

This method requires that all the points lie on Earth surface (have zero depth) and coordinate arrays are one-dimensional.


Because of its quadratic space and time complexity this method is safe to use for meshes of up to several thousand points. For mesh of 10k points it needs ~800 Mb for just the resulting matrix and four times that much for intermediate storage.

Returns:Two-dimensional numpy array, square matrix of distances. The matrix has zeros on main diagonal and positive distances in kilometers on all other cells. That is, value in cell (3, 5) is the distance between mesh’s points 3 and 5 in km, and it is equal to value in cell (5, 3).

Uses openquake.hazardlib.geo.geodetic.geodetic_distance().


Compute and return Joyner-Boore distance to each point of mesh. Point’s depth is ignored.

See openquake.hazardlib.geo.surface.base.BaseQuadrilateralSurface.get_joyner_boore_distance() for definition of this distance.

Returns:numpy array of distances in km of the same shape as mesh. Distance value is considered to be zero if a point lies inside the polygon enveloping the projection of the mesh or on one of its edges.

Compute and return the minimum distance from the mesh to each point in another mesh.

Returns:numpy array of distances in km of the same shape as mesh.

Method doesn’t make any assumptions on arrangement of the points in either mesh and instead calculates the distance from each point of this mesh to each point of the target mesh and returns the lowest found for each.

Uses openquake.hazardlib.geo.geodetic.min_distance().


Return the shape of this mesh.

Returns:The shape of this mesh.
Return type:tuple in the following format (rows, columns)

Rectangular mesh

class openquake.hazardlib.geo.mesh.RectangularMesh(lons, lats, depths=None)[source]

A specification of Mesh that requires coordinate numpy-arrays to be two-dimensional.

Rectangular mesh is meant to represent not just an unordered collection of points but rather a sort of table of points, where index of the point in a mesh is related to it’s position with respect to neighbouring points.

classmethod from_points_list(points)[source]

Create a rectangular mesh object from a list of lists of points. Lists in a list are supposed to have the same length.

Parameters:point – List of lists of Point objects.

Calculate centroid, width, length and area of each mesh cell.

Returns:Tuple of four elements, each being 2d numpy array. Each array has both dimensions less by one the dimensions of the mesh, since they represent cells, not vertices. Arrays contain the following cell information:
  1. centroids, 3d vectors in a Cartesian space,
  2. length (size along row of points) in km,
  3. width (size along column of points) in km,
  4. area in square km.

Calculate weighted average inclination and azimuth of the mesh surface.

Returns:Tuple of two float numbers: inclination angle in a range [0, 90] and azimuth in range [0, 360) (in decimal degrees).

The mesh is triangulated, the inclination and azimuth for each triangle is computed and average values weighted on each triangle’s area are calculated. Azimuth is always defined in a way that inclination angle doesn’t exceed 90 degree.


Calculate and return (weighted) mean width (km) of a mesh surface.

The length of each mesh column is computed (summing up the cell widths in a same column), and the mean value (weighted by the mean cell length in each column) is returned.


Return the middle point of the mesh.

Returns:An instance of Point.

The middle point is taken from the middle row and a middle column of the mesh if there are odd number of both. Otherwise the geometric mean point of two or four middle points.


Convert mesh points to vectors in Cartesian space.

Returns:Tuple of four elements, each being 2d numpy array of 3d vectors (the same structure and shape as the mesh itself). Those arrays are:
  1. points vectors,
  2. vectors directed from each point (excluding the last column) to the next one in a same row →,
  3. vectors directed from each point (excluding the first row) to the previous one in a same column ↑,
  4. vectors pointing from a bottom left point of each mesh cell to top right one ↗.

So the last three arrays of vectors allow to construct triangles covering the whole mesh.

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