Intuitive Geological Modeling Using GIS Data

Geological modeling involves the creation of 3D models using data and observations at both surface and sub-surface levels. IndiaCADworks (ICW) being a specialist geospatial service provider, uses advanced software to create geological visualizations from either survey or GIS data, or a combination of both.

The resulting geological models have a variety of applications, including providing information for construction and infrastructure foundations, and landscaping. As part of GIS services, ICW also assists in natural resource management through groundwater modeling, reservoir engineering, mining operations, and oil and gas operations.

Our engineering team uses GIS data to carry out geological modeling, using satellite imagery, geographical mapping data, boreholes data, and seismic imaging. ICW can combine this with survey or field data for more detailed 3D geological modeling.

What Is Geological Modeling?

The scientific description of geological modeling (or geomodelling) is that it is a representation of the earth’s crust based on geological and geophysical data gathered on the earth’s surface and below it.

ICW follows these steps to build a geological model from GIS data:

  1. Geological analysis of specified geography from existing geological models, maps, etc.
  2. Gathering of available GIS data and transformation of data into mapped points or polygons.
  3. Creation of structural model, detailing rock boundaries – horizons, faults, intrusions, etc. and calculation of the partial differential equations that govern subsurface processes and movement.
  4. Modeling of a 3D triangulated mesh to create a 3D geomodel visualization.

Factors Considered for Geological Modeling

Geological modeling is a useful way to see what is going on below the ground, helping engineers involved in construction projects and natural resource management. To make the process affordable, GIS data is preferable to field surveys and provides a similar level of accuracy.

The geotechnical engineering process at ICW includes the GIS data that takes the following six components of geological modeling:

  • Structural framework – Positions of major rock formations, fault lines, etc.
  • Rock type - Rock type such as beach sand, marine shoreface sand, or low energy marine marine silt, etc.
  • Reservoir quality – Surface or underground reservoirs of any fluid type – groundwater, oil, or gas.
  • Geostatics – probability distributions of ore grades for mining, oil deposits, gas reserves, etc.
  • Fluid saturation
  • Mineral deposits

IndiaCADworks provides a wide range of geological modeling services using GIS data. The key offering are as below:

  • Digital Elevation Modeling ICW engineers use software such as GEOVIA and Geomodeller3D to create elevation views from the available GIS terrain data. Topography is modelled into a digital elevation, and existing geological data on rock formations from boreholes is interpolated to add detail to the model. Digital elevation models can be used for land-use surveys, construction viability studies, flood relief, and drainage projects.
  • Terrain Modeling Surface terrain data from GIS satellite imagery or aerial photography is transformed into a 3D terrain map. Soil studies, borehole data, and topographical maps are all used to create an interactive 3D model. Data is interpolated between known survey points, to create an accurate representation of the lay of the land.
  • Fluid Modeling ICW engineers apply a variety of software tools to help locate and model underground fluid reserves, including groundwater, oil, and gas. GIS data is used and interpolated between known points. Probability distributions are also used to calculate the location of possible fluid reserves.
  • Mine Modeling Topographical, surface mapping, and subsoil survey data, combined with probability distributions, are used to locate mineral and ore layers in a geological model.
  • Plate Tectonic Modeling Production of geological models that include fault lines, plate locations and apply structural geology principles, to aid with the study of plate tectonics and earthquake risk.

Benefits of Geological Modeling Making Use of GIS Data

Our team is experienced at producing geological models for a wide variety of applications. Making use of GIS data to produce these models has many benefits, including:

  • Improved decision making – Using GIS data to create an initial geological model can improve project decision making, allowing companies to decide whether a project is viable without breaking soil.
  • Affordability – Acquiring GIS data is much less expensive and more efficient than sending out a team to survey a location. GIS data such as satellite imagery, topographical data, borehole data, soil sample data, etc. are used to improve the accuracy and usability of the model.
  • Speed – Gathering GIS data can be carried out quickly, within hours or days, as opposed to several weeks of waiting for survey data to be collected and returned. ICW uses specialist, state-of-the-art software such as GEOVIA to create the models, which is much quicker than using traditional CAD 3D modeling software.
  • Precision – GIS data often uses multiple data sources to collate data. This reduces the number of errors and data anomalies, meaning you get a more accurate model.

Outsource Your Geological Modeling, and Geospatial Engineering Needs to IndiaCADworks

IndiaCADworks provides accurate geological models from geospatial engineering sources (such as GIS data), for any purpose, including construction, infrastructure engineering, oil and gas engineering, flood and drainage design, etc.

If you need geological models created for your project, get in touch today to book a free consultation with a specialist from our geomodelling team.

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