Fatiando a Terra is a collection of open-source Python packages aimed primarily at Geophysics (though not exclusively). This page contains some information about the project and its history.


Fatiando a Terra is Portuguese for Slicing the Earth, a reference to the project’s Brazilian origins and ambitious initial goals to model the whole planet.

Brief history

The Fatiando a Terra project had it’s start around 2008 as a C++ program to perform geophysical modeling of various data types (gravity, magnetics, seismic, etc.). At least that was what a small group of Geophysics undergraduate students at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, set out to do. Unsurprisingly, this overly ambitious goal was never achieved.

Box diagram of the layout and flow of information planned for the GUI program.

First diagram (in Portuguese) of the planned graphical user interface (GUI) for the Fatiando C++ program. Retrieved from commit 10c8ff7 from 11 February 2009.

In 2010, we started developing the fatiando Python library, which included several state-of-the-art methods for forward modeling and inversion of gravity and magnetic data, as well as toy problems in other fields useful for teaching. Development of this library was discontinued in 2018 as our focus shifted to our newer and more well-scoped libraries. This blog post announcing the shift explains the reasoning behind this decision.


The last version that was released of fatiando is v0.5. The documentation for it can still be accessed at legacy.fatiando.org

Our YouTube channel has a playlist of talks given about Fatiando over the years.

The geophysics Python ecosystem

Fatiando is a part of the larger geophysics open-source Python ecosystem, which has grown tremendously since we started development in 2010.