Color Palettes

PLEASE NOTICE: any of the proprietary format files available for download below will have .odt extention. To open, please change the file extension to .zip, and then unzip using Winzip. Inside the unzipped folder you will find three colormap files with the correct format.

For structure maps and geophysical attributes

I created three color palettes for structure maps (seismic horizons, elevation maps, etcetera) and seismic attributes. To read about the palettes please check these blog posts:

The rainbow is dead…long live the rainbow! – Part 5 – CIE Lab linear L* rainbow
The rainbow is dead series – Part 7 – Perceptual rainbow palette – the method
The rainbow is dead series – Part 7 – Perceptual rainbow palette – the goodies

ASCII format

ASCII files, csv format, RGB range 0-1

ASCII files, csv format, RGB range 0-255

Proprietary formats

Geosoft – in .tbl format, ready to use. Courtesy of Ian MacLeod, Chief technologist at Geosoft

SMT Kingdom – in .clb format, ready to use. Courtesy of Mike Stone (@toastar on twitter)

Hampson-Russell (HRS-9)- to import them from a Horizon map, MB3 click on the Color Key, select ColorKey and Histogram
in the ColorKey and Histogram Editor window check the Advanced options then click on Import… navigate to the folder where you saved the palettes and select one of them
Give it a name and also Save to List… to use it throughout the project

Landmark Decision Space Geoscience – in .cl2 format, ready to use. To use them in DSG: save the .cl2 files to your desktop or your user\.lgcpalettes folder, open DSG, select the Color tab, MB3 click anywhere on the colorbar and select Color Map File > Import, navigate to the folder where you saved the files and choose one.

Madagascar – use the 0-1 RGB ASCII files above. Please check the Madagascar Development blog for examples

Matlab – use my function Perceptually improved colormaps from the Matlab File Exchange

OpendTect  – The palettes were included in release 4.4 of OpendTect as Matteo terrain linearMatteo terrain cube, and Matteo terrain cube red.   If you are working with an earlier release, to load them in OpendTect on a Mac, please click on the download link. Save the file as When you unzip it, you will find the file settings_coltabs.matteo.  Follow these instructions, courtesy of Matt Hall of Agile Geoscience (@kwinkunks on twitter):
Rename your file settings_coltabs.matteo (can have anything after the dot) and save it to Downloads (for example)
From the Terminal, copy the file to the folder ~/.od with the command cp Downloads/settings_coltabs.matteo  ~/.od
In OpendTect: right-click on colorbar > Manage… > From other user…
User’s HOME directory: /Users/My-user-name (for me this is /Users/matteoniccoli)
DTECT_USER: matteo (or what you used in step 1)
Choose which tables to add
Delete ~/.od/settings_coltabs.matteo if you like but it’s really not necessary
The above may not work for everyone. For an alternative way to load the palettes, please follow these instruction by Paul de Groot of  dGB Earth Sciences:
I followed Matt Hall’s comments and the user doc but OpendTect did not recognize the file I had named “settings_coltabs.matteo”.
In the end I resorted to saving a color bar myself so that I did have a “settings_coltabs” of my own.
I then copied matteo’s file over this temporary file, which solved the problem.


Petrel – The palettes are in .alut format, ready to import into Seismic color tables folder in Petrel Templates

Petrosys – To be available within Petrosys these files need to be stored in a folder called gradients (NB: in a large company there will be a Petrosys local folder which stores site specific files and there may already be a gradients folder within this. If these files are added to this gradients folder they will be available to all users on site). Courtesy of Ewan Rule of Petrosys Europe.

Python – use code from this post

Seisware – these are in .pal format, ready to import

Surfer – these are in .clr format, ready to import

Voxelgeo – these are in .color format, ready to import

For phase and dip azimuth data

ASCII file, csv format, RGB range 0-1 and 0-255

To read about the palette please read this post:

Miscellaneous: improved rainbow with sawtooth-shaped lightness profile

ASCII file, csv format, RGB range 0-1 and 0-255

To read about the palette please read this post:

For seismic amplitude (sections and time slices)

Coming soon