Mathematica is a computer algebra program that is generally used to manipulate mathematical expressions and display the results. For long, complex expressions, computer algebra programs have proven useful for simplifying and checking work done manually. While mathematical manipulations are not considered here, the mathematical tools available may simplify the tasks of programming and testing new algorithms as well as for displaying results.
Creating simple programs with Mathematica takes less work than similar tasks done with FORTRAN or C. Numbers with any precision may be used, complex numbers are treated naturally, and the syntax is generally simple within Mathematica. Where FORTRAN or C require programming structures that pass numerical values through an algorithm, Mathematica allows relationships to be defined and evaluated as needed. Variables may become complex numbers as needed and may be just symbolic values until they are supplied with numerical values.
Displaying seismic data is generally done with black and white rasters. While these displays may be used from Mathematica, many other displays are available for special purposes, including color displays. Most of these displays have automatic scaling and annotation options for easy use, but options to control scaling, annotation, color, and other features are available. In addition, new displays may be created with plotting primitives.
This paper shows how seismic files may be converted to Mathematica matrix files and then manipulated as vectors or matrices. A set of displays is presented to illustrate Mathematica's graphics power.