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Geological 3D modelling: scientific discovery and enhanced understanding of the subsurface, with examples from the UK

[Geologische 3D-Modellierung: Wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse und vertiefte Einsichten in den Untergrund, mit Beispielen aus Großbritannien]

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In recent years, with the improvement of computer processing power and the development of sophisticated visualisation software, the traditional static views of geological maps, cross-sections and other analogue representations have been replaced by digital, three-dimensional (3D) models. Building these 3D models involves the assembly of many previously isolated and disparate datasets into a single 3D spatial framework for visualisation and analysis. This enables the construction of the best possible geological 3D model using all available information. This paper gives examples of how geoscientific understanding has benefited from the construction of 3D models by the British Geological Survey using several examples to illustrate how structural, stratigraphical and sedimentological discovery can result from the construction of 3D models.

Dank der Verbesserung der Computer-Leistung und der Entwicklung anspruchsvoller Visualisierungs-Software wurde in den letzten Jahren die traditionelle statische Darstellung in geologischen Karten, Profilen und anderen analogen Medien durch digitale, dreidimensionale (3D) Modelle ersetzt. Der Aufbau solcher 3D-Modelle erfordert die Zusammenstellung vieler, zuvor isoliert und verteilt vorliegender Ausgangsdaten in einen einzigen, dreidimensionalen räumlichen Rahmen für die Darstellung und Analyse. Die Verwendung aller verfügbaren Informationen erlaubt die Erstellung des best-möglichen geologischen 3D-Modells. Dieser Artikel zeigt anhand verschiedener Beispiele wie das geologische Verständnis in struktureller, stratigrafischer und sedimentologischer Hinsicht von der Erstellung von 3D-Modellen durch den British Geological Survey profitiert hat.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften (ZDGG) is an international peer reviewed journal that accepts papers on research and applied topics in the Earth Sciences. It is published online and in print. One volume, consisting of four issues is published annually. The journal has been published by the German Geological Society since its foundation in 1848. It was relaunched in 2005.

    ZDGG invites the submission of English, German and French language papers from all fields of geology, hydrogeology, paleontology, tectonics, sedimentology, engineering geology and of course environmental geology to name a few. The editors of ZDGG also invite suggestions for thematic issues.

    Please note that ZDGG issues from Volume 170 are now available from the publisher's website at
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