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3D Geology – How?-This Way!

Land of Ideas 2012

Land of Ideas 2012

Land of Ideas 2012

The Working Group Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle, has been awarded by the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas” under the patronage of the German President and Deutsche Bank as “Selected Landmark in the Land of Ideas 2012”. The awarded project “Innovative Visualization Methods in 3D-Geology” is one of the 365 selected projects and ideas out of more than 2000 applications in the competition. In a public voting, the project reached rank 36 out of 365.

3D-Laser Engraving Glass Model – 3D-Geology of Halle (Saale)

The 3d geological model of the city of Halle (Saale) has been processed by subsurface 3D laser engraving techniques into an optical crystal block of 26 x 26 x 13 cm and a weight of 22 kg. The geological information is based on a detailed 3d geological model with 28 individual layers covering 135 square kilometres. The hard rock and sedimentary strata are depicted in an “explosive view” for optimal visualisation. The horizontal resolution of the detailed geological modelling work is 40 x 40 m and the primary input of subsurface information is based on app. 3000 boreholes. The exceptional visualisation within the optical crystal block of this large dimension realized for the first time, allows a detailed 3d view within a transparent solid object, independent from any computer facilities. The 3d laser engraving was processed in cooperation with Starglass Lasertechnik GmbH, Bünde.

True Colour Hologram

This is the first time that the deeper subsurface geology of the City of Halle (Saale), Germany, could be presented in a true colour hologram with a impressive 3d perspective.  The geological modelling was done with 3D-Move (J. Rienäcker, 2011), rendering, data transfer (F. Wittig, 2012) and I-Lumogram (GEOLA Digital Lab, Vilnus, Lithuania).

3D-Geo-Stripping

before after

This visualization technique combines air photos of different view angles with the correct position of subsurface information from the digital 3d geological model. The internet based information can be viewed and used interactively on the screen or smart phones respectively. The example shows an air photo of the city of Bitterfeld (Germany) in combination of a virtual horizontal subsurface section at +58 m above Sea Level. The geology at this specific depth is characterized by remaining and in parts excavated lignite and tertiary and quaternary sediments.

More than just a picture

Bitterfeld / Germany, 4 x 4 km2, Source: Dept. Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale) Germany (GSI3D, ArcView)

Bitterfeld / Germany, 4 x 4 km2, Source: Dept. Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale) Germany (GSI3D, ArcView)

3D geological spatial models present an integrated view of surface and geological subsurface information. Meanwhile, efficient software tools allow high-performance modelling in different fields of geology, hydrogeology and environmental geology supporting a sustainable management of natural resources. An introduction to future oriented applications is given by some visualisations from the Dept. of Hydro- and Environmental Geology MLU Halle.
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To understand the subsurface geology the natural deep canyons of the Colorado Plateau give a deep insight view by natural erosion, explained in the Video.
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Geological Modelling in 3D

3D-modelling at the Dept. of Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale) Germany.

3D-modelling at the Dept. of Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale) Germany.

3D modelling in geology is based on subsurface data from boreholes, and /or seismic and geological maps. There are different strategies of model techniques, depending on the complexity of the regional geology. 2D Geological cross-sections are the first step to explore the subsurface geology on a regional scale. Based on geological maps of solid rock formations, such cross-sections can be drawn, as depicted in the impressive Animation from the landscape of Utah.
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3D geological modelling can be realized by different approaches of cross-section nets or geostatistical interpolation methods. A first introduction to the workflow of modelling by GSI3D shows the Video from BGS.
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Sedimentary rocks which are affected by faults and folds show a very complex internal structure. The 3d modelling of such complex structures needs specific techniques and software tools.
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Fascinating 3d geology from the Gonzen Ore Body, Swiss are given in the attached animations.
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Applications in 3D Geo-Modelling

Image shows the integrated information from the 3d subsurface modelling with GSI3D and the results of transport modelled non-reactive contaminants in a porous aquifer (ModFlow). Source: Dept Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale) Germany.

Image shows the integrated information from the 3d subsurface modelling with GSI3D and the results of transport modelled non-reactive contaminants in a porous aquifer (ModFlow). Source: Dept Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle (Saale) Germany.

3d geology models are the future oriented base for subsequent hydrogeological and environmental modelling, as well as for geotechnical and GIS based spatial planning. The Conference Publication of the BGS shows the broad spectrum of different applications.
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Urban geology is another expending field of interest. 3D models can be used as a consistent data base as well as structural model for subsequent modelling of groundwater flow and transport. A first glance gives the animation of the 3d geology model of Halle City, Germany. The model covers 135 km2 and shows 24 individual layers.
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3D Geology Videos

Visualization of 3D geological model at a CAVE, Institute of Mathematics, TU Berlin. Source: Dept. Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany.

Visualization of 3D geological model at a CAVE, Institute of Mathematics, TU Berlin. Source: Dept. Hydro- and Environmental Geology, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany.

Are the 3d models mostly based on borehole data, differed software tools are used. The linked video presentation from CTech (EVS & MVS) shows the individual stages of the modelling work flow as well as the different possibilities of visualizations of the subsurface.
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An impressive example of the virtual environment of subsurface geology from 3d models is presented in the Video of the BGS who use the digital information in his modern 3D Technology and Visualization Centre for geological Information in Nottingham.
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Further Reading

Further Reading

Further Reading

Stafleu, J. et al. (2008): 3D subsurface characterization of the Netherlands: results from stochastic modelling.- 2nd GSI3D Conference, BGS, PPT.
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Turner, K., Kessler, H. & Culshaw. M. (2008): Unlocking the potential of geological subsurface models for Engineers.- 2nd GSI3D Conference, BGS. PPT.
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Wycisk, P., Hubert, T., Gossel, W. & Neumann, Ch. (2009): High-resolution 3D spatial modelling of complex geological structures for an environmental risk assessment of abundant mining and industrial mega sites. Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 35, 1, 165-182.
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Wycisk, P. Hubert, T., Steinmetz, T., Gossel, W. (2007): 3D Modelling of complex geological structures and its relevance for numerical groundwater models – A Case Study.- REPOSAFE, International Congress: “Radioactive Waste Disposal in Geological For-mations“, Braunschweig, Proceedings, 285-295. [more…]

Wycisk, P. Gossel, W., Schlesier, D., Neumann, Ch. (2007): Integrated 3D modelling of subsurface geology and hydrogeology for urban groundwater management. – Int. Congress on New Directions in Urban Water Management, UNESCO Paris, 09/2007, Proceedings 1-8.
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Wycisk, P & Working Group Hydro- Environmental Geology: International Publications.
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