MATLAB package for stress inversion from focal mechanisms

Patricia Martínez-Garzón <>
Grzegorz Kwiatek <>
Michele Ickrath
Marco Bohnhoff

Original SATSI library code by Jeanne Hardebeck and Andy Michael; see Hardebeck and Michael [2006] for details. MSATSI package uses MATLAB routine sh.m for appropriate calculation of the horizontal stresses, developed by Bjorn Lund and John Townend; see Lund and Townend [2007] for details. The extensive description of the package together with examples is presented in Martínez-Garzón et al. [2013]. The MSATSI package is described in the paper in Seismological Research Letters. If you find the MSATSI useful in your research, please acknowledge this work by providing a reference to the following studies:

Martínez-Garzón, P., Kwiatek, G., Ickrath, M. and M. Bohnhoff (2014). MSATSI: A MATLAB© package for stress inversion combining solid classic methodology, a new simplified user-handling and a visualization tool. Seismol. Res. Lett. 85 (4), 896-904. DOI: 10.1785/0220130189.

Hardebeck, J. L., and A. J. Michael (2006). Damped regional-scale stress inversions: Methodology and examples for southern California and the Coalinga aftershock sequence, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 111, no. B11, B11310, doi 10.1029/2005JB004144.

Lund, B., and J. Townend (2007). Calculating horizontal stress orientations with full or partial knowledge of the tectonic stress tensor, Geophys. J. Int. 170, no. 3, 1328–1335, doi 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03468.x.


MSATSI is a MATLAB© software package that allows performing the stress inversion using earthquake focal mechanisms. MSATSI is based on the C library SATSI created by Hardebeck and Michael [2006] ( MSATSI provides an framework for calculating the deviatioric stress tensor together with its uncertainties using bootstrap resampling method. It also allows displaying the stress inversion results using a variety of plots.

The MSATSI package is composed of two MATLAB functions. The first one msatsi.m performs actual stress inversion and the second one, msatsi_plot.m, provides the graphical visualization of stress inversion results calculated with msatsi.

Main features of MSATSI package are:

  • Simple and comprehensive handling of input and output stress inversion data.
  • Variety of graphical representations of the stress inversion results: stereonets, stereotraces, profiles, world stress map-alike plots, stereomaps and stereovolumes.
  • Versatile and adjustable graphical output
  • User friendly interface through the intensive use of MATLAB properties.

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Patricia Martinez Garzon
Junior Group Leader
Dr. Patricia Martinez Garzon
Geomechanics and Scientific Drilling
Building D, Room 421
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28833


Grzegorz Kwiatek
Dr. Grzegorz Kwiatek
Geomechanics and Scientific Drilling
Building D, Room 422
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1384