General Geology

1988 Edition

Block diagram

  • Charles W. FinklJr.
Reference work entry

A block diagram is a sketch of a relief model—in particular, a representation of a landscape in a perspective projection. Lobeck (1958), perfecting the art of block diagram construction, defined these illustrations as plane figures that represent an imaginary rectangular block of the Earth's crust in what appears as a three-dimensional perspective. The top of the block gives a bird's-eye view of the ground surface, and the side gives the underlying geologic structure. These three-dimensional landscape models, when suitably cut and placed, enable examination of the surface and two of the lateral faces. Different types of block diagrams have been developed (Monkhouse and Wilkinson, 1971), but most are based on the simple isometric diagram that is prepared from a series of profiles. The need for these pseudo-three-dimensional diagrams is, according to Lawrence (1971), often encountered in the interpretation of landforms. They also provide useful summaries of field conditions for a...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Lawrence, G. R. P., 1971, Cartographic Methods. London: Methuen, 153p.Google Scholar
  2. Lobeck, A. K., 1958, Block Diagrams and Other Graphic Methods Used in Geology and Geography. Amherst, Mass.: Emerson-Trussell Book Company, 206p.Google Scholar
  3. Monkhouse, R. J. and Wilkinson, H. R., 1971, Maps and Diagrams. London: Methuen, 330p.Google Scholar
  4. Robinson, A. H., 1960, Elements of Cartography. New York: Wiley, 343p.Google Scholar
  5. Schou, A., 1962, The Construction and Drawing of Block Diagrams. London: Nelson, 33p.Google Scholar
  6. Speck, N. H., R. L. Wright, G. K. Rutherford, K. Fitzgerald, F. Thomas, J. M. Arnold, J. J. Basinski, E. A. Fitzpatrick, M. Lazarides, and R. A. Perry, 1964. General Report on the Lands of the West Kimberley Area, W.A., CSIRO (Australia) Land Research Series No. 9, Melbourne, Victoria, 219p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. FinklJr.

There are no affiliations available