Crustal seismic‐velocity models and datasets play a key role in regional 3D numerical earthquake ground‐motion simulation, full waveform tomography, and modern physics‐based probabilistic earthquake‐hazard analysis, as well as in other related fields, including geophysics and earthquake engineering. Most of these models and datasets, often collectively identified as Community Velocity Models (CVMs), synthesize information from multiple sources and are delivered to users in variable formats, including computer applications that allow for interactive querying of material properties, namely P‐ and S‐wave velocities and density ρ. Computational users often require massive and repetitive access to velocity models and datasets, and such access is often unpractical and difficult due to a lack of standardized methods and procedures. To overcome these issues and to facilitate access by the community to these models, the Southern California Earthquake Center developed the Unified CVM (UCVM) software framework, an open‐source collection of tools that enables users to access one or more seismic‐velocity models, while providing a standard query interface. Here, we describe the research challenges that motivated the development of UCVM, its software design, development approach, and basic capabilities, as well as a few examples of seismic‐modeling applications that use UCVM.

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