OR/18/003 Model workflow

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Shelley, C, and Burke, H. 2018. Model metadata report for the South Downs teaching model. British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/18/003.

The standard GSI3D modelling workflow was followed for this project. GSI3D software utilises a range of data such as boreholes, digital terrain models (DTM) and geological linework to enable the geologist to construct a series of interlocking cross-sections. Borehole data is represented in GSI3D by two proprietary files; a borehole identification file (.bid) that contains ‘index’-level information including location and start-heights; a borehole log file (.blg) that contains the borehole interpretation. Constructing cross-sections is intuitive and flexible, combining borehole and outcrop data with the geologist’s experience to refine the interpretation.

Using both the information from the cross-sections and the distribution of each unit a calculation algorithm creates the triangulated surfaces for the top and base of each unit. In order to control the relative vertical ordering of the calculation, a generalised vertical section file (.gvs) is established. A proprietary legend file (.gleg) is created to control symbolisation of the cross-section and model. The modeller can view all the units in 3D and iteratively return to the cross-section to make amendments or add further cross-sections to refine the model. This process is a standard methodology within BGS for modelling Quaternary and simple bedrock horizons and is fully documented in Kessler et al (2009)[1].


  1. Kessler et al., (2009). The capture and dissemination of integrated 3D geospatial knowledge at the British Geological Survey using GSI3D software and methodology. Computers & Geoscience. Vol 35, pt 6, pp 1311–1321.