Faculté des sciences

A workflow to facilitate three-dimensional geometrical modelling of complex poly-deformed geological units

Maxelon, Michael ; Renard, Philippe ; Courrioux, Gabriel ; Brändli, Martin ; Mancktelow, Neil

In: Computers & Geosciences, 2009, vol. 35, no. 3, p. 644-658

The three-dimensional (3D) geometry of complexly deformed regions is often beyond the scope of simple 2D and 2.5D representation in cross-sections and block diagrams. Methods must be developed for fully three-dimensional representation. A workflow for such three-dimensional modelling of structurally complex areas is presented. Data requirements are tailored to typical results of structural field... Plus

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    Summary
    The three-dimensional (3D) geometry of complexly deformed regions is often beyond the scope of simple 2D and 2.5D representation in cross-sections and block diagrams. Methods must be developed for fully three-dimensional representation. A workflow for such three-dimensional modelling of structurally complex areas is presented. Data requirements are tailored to typical results of structural field work in strongly deformed rocks from mid-crustal levels. The workflow is based on data evaluation and data export using standard geographical information system and database management systems. Three-dimensional modelling in polyphase deformed areas is highly dependent on the correct interpretation of variations in the orientation of the dominant planar fabrics. The computer-aided earth-modelling software 3D GeoModeller is well adapted for managing this problem. It calculates the geometry of geological interfaces taking into account simultaneously the foliation data and location of lithological contacts. The workflow is based on iterative model refinement based on interactive editing of the geometry in section and map views with data assessment and pre-processing using GIS software. This approach assures internal consistency of the resulting three-dimensional models. Modelling of the Lower Lepontine Nappes in the Central Alps is used as an illustrative example from a complexly deformed terrain.