• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


WHITE Jr, Lionel S.1, CLINE, Jarvis R.1, ALFARHAN, Mohammed S.2, BURNHAM, Brian S.3, MILLS, Graham4, WANG, Miao5 and AIKEN, Carlos L.V.5, (1)Geological & Historical Virtual Models, LLC, 4680 College Park Dr, Dallas, TX 75229, (2)Oil & Gas Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology, PO Box 6086, Riyadh, 11442, Saudi Arabia, (3)Department of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 2601 N Floyd Rd, Richardson, TX 75083, (4)Department of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080-3021, (5)Geosciences, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080-3021,

The promise of photorealistic outcrop models is their ability to bring into the lab and the classroom an accurate surface representation of the outcrops. The draping of high resolution photos (to 1 mm per pixel) onto the TIN mesh of the model, provides an accurate, lifelike appearance. The geologist can make most of the physical measurements of the outcrop that he would make in the field using the entire outcrop for measurement, rather than being limited to the areas that he can physically access in the field. The models also allow the geologist to rapidly revisit the outcrop for further analysis, to annotate the results, and to insert links to other documentation. A major barrier to their effective use in this manner has been the lack of a tool set to easily work with the models.

The GeoAnalysisTools software is an ESRI ArcScene Extension that provides an interactive means to measure feature orientation and dimensions, rapidly create down plunge cross-sections, identify sedimentary facies and annotate them, insert stratigraphic columns, and insert hyper-links to supporting documentation.

Interactive demonstrations of the software will be available for four sets of outcrop models. The Arbuckle Anticline set consists of five outcrops along Interstate 35 in southern Oklahoma (Cambrian to Devonian Formations). The Tuwaiq outcrop (Jurassic Jubaila Formation) covers 5 km along a road cut and along a valley that the road crosses in SW Riyadh. The optical resolution is 1 mm per pixel in focus areas. Over 800 photos were draped on the large TIN model. The Medain Saleh outcrop (Ordovician Quweira Formation) in NW Saudi Arabia covers an area 700m x 700m with outcrops reaching 80m in height. Both outcrops were acquired under a UTD contract with Saudi Aramco. The Eagle Ford Shale set (Cretaceous Period) consists of 13 separate outcrops in southern Texas which were created under a UTD contract with Shell.

Two commercial 3D graphics display companies are developing the capability to show the large, high resolution models in 3D immersive cave environments and will provide tools for the geologist to interact with the models. Prototype display systems will be available to provide rapid traversal of the large models at full 3D resolution.

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