Skip to main content

Mapping and analysing virtual outcrops

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 6.
Fig. 7.
Fig. 8

References

  • Clegg P, Trinks I, McCaffrey KJW, Holdsworth RE, Jones RR, Hobbs R, Waggott S (2005) Towards the Virtual Outcrop. Geoscientist 15(1):8–10

    Google Scholar 

  • De Paola N, Holdsworth RE, McCaffrey KJ (2005) The influence of lithological and pre-existing structures an reservoir-scale faulting patterns in transtensional rift zones. J Geol Soc 162:471–480

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dey TK, Goswami S (2003) Tight Cocone: a water-tight surface reconstructor. J Comput Inform Sci Eng 3:302–307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dey TK, Giesen J, Hudson J (2001) Delaunay-based shape reconstruction from large data. IEEE Symposium in Parallel and Large Data Visualization and Graphics, pp 19–27

  • Edmondo GP (2002) Digital geologic field mapping using ArcPad. In: Digital Mapping Techniques 2002, Workshop Proceedings, USGS. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/of02–370/edmondo.html

  • Jones RR, McCaffrey KJW, Wilson RW, Holdsworth RF (2004) Digital field data acquisition: towards increased quantification of uncertainty during geological mapping. In: Curtis A, Wood R (eds) Geological Prior Information. Geol Soc Spec Publ 239:43–56

    Google Scholar 

  • McCaffrey KJW, Jones RR, Holdsworth RE, Wilson RW, Clegg P, Imber J, Holliman N, Trinks I (2005) Unlocking the spatial dimension: digital technologies and the future of geoscience fieldwork. J Geol Soc Lond 161 (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • McCaffrey KJW, Holdsworth RE, Clegg P, Jones RR, Wilson RW (2003) Using digital mapping tools and 3-D visualisation to improve undergraduate fieldwork. PLANET 5:34–37

    Google Scholar 

  • Wessel P, Smith WHF (1991) Free software helps map and display data. EOS Trans AGU 72(441):445–446

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilson RW, McCaffrey KJW, Jones RR, Imber J, Clegg P, Holdsworth RE (2005) Lofoten has its faults! Detailed fault analysis and 3-D digital mapping in the Norway’s Lofoten Islands. Geoscientist 15(2):4–9

    Google Scholar 

  • Xu X, Battacharya JA, Davis RK, Aiken CLV (2000) Digital geological mapping of the Ferron Sandstone, Muddy Creek, Utah, with GPS and reflectorless laser rangefinders. GPS Solutions 5:15–23

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

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.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Immo Trinks.

Additional information

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

Electronic Supplementary Material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Trinks, I., Clegg, P., McCaffrey, K. et al. Mapping and analysing virtual outcrops. Vis Geosci 10, 13–19 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10069-005-0026-9

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10069-005-0026-9

Keywords

  • Visualisation
  • Outcrop
  • Laser scanning
  • Virtual reality