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Mapping and analysing virtual outcrops


Laser scanning is a very efficient way to generate realistic, high-resolution digital models of 3-D geological outcrops. This paper discusses the methodologies involved in the creation and analysis of virtual outcrops, based on laser scanner data. The visualisation of the laser scanner data as a photorealistic 3-D object is described. Geological features picked out on the virtual outcrop (e.g. fractures, faults or bedding planes) can be extrapolated outward, into space, and inward, into the subsurface, using tension surfaces.

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This research was funded with the support of joint NERC/BP/Statoil funding through a LINK award to the University of Durham (NER/T/S/2000/01018), an associated tied studentship to Wilson (NER/S/S2001/06740) and a NERC Follow-on Fund (NE/C506964/1). The authors thank Prof. Dave Yuen and Prof. John D. Clemens for a thorough review and helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Immo Trinks.

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Reviewed by: J.D. Clemens, D. Yuen

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Trinks, I., Clegg, P., McCaffrey, K. et al. Mapping and analysing virtual outcrops. Vis Geosci 10, 13–19 (2005).

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  • Visualisation
  • Outcrop
  • Laser scanning
  • Virtual reality