Basics of 3D Geological modeling?


Staff member
Jun 3, 2020
The 3D Geological modeling requires densely populated data within a 3D block of an area. The data includes surface Geology, Cross-sections along exposures, Data collected from wells, pits, trenches etc, and the borehole data.

Process of creating 3D models
The process involves the projection of Geological information over vertical cross-sections, and then extrapolating the information. The process varies from software to software while the Geological interpretations follows the same basic concepts.

Presentation of Data
The 3D information is difficult to understand as we won't be able to present everything within a 3D model. So, we generally present the information through 3 kinds of 2D maps: Horizontal maps, Lateral maps and Cross-sections.

The Horizontal maps are regular surface maps with Geological information and the location of boreholes plotted on them. Generally, only a single surface map is used while the level maps are used for mining. The horizontal length & width of the beds can be assessed from the horizontal maps.

The Lateral maps are the vertical cross-sections taken along the strike direction. The don't provide much information and are only considered in rare circumstances. In most cases, they are filled with a few beds. They are helpful if the beds are near-horizontal as it gives more lithological information.

The Cross-sectional maps are the vertical cross-sections taken along the dip direction. They are the most helpful maps as they give height and width of the beds. The changes of beds along the strike can be observed as we move from one cross-section to the other.

This is only a basic explanation about the modeling. You can find more information in threads about any specific 3D modeling software.

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