Northeastern Section - 48th Annual Meeting (18–20 March 2013)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 4:40 PM


HERMAN, Gregory C., NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ Geological & Water Survey, PO Box 420, 29 Arctic Parkway, Trenton, NJ 08822,

The New Jersey Geological and Water Survey uses Google Earth (GE) to help research the physical properties of fractured-bedrock aquifers. GE provides a flexible, practical, and popular software platform to help organize, display, and share 2D and 3D geological data collected in outcrop and with borehole geophysical logging tools. Computerized 2D geological symbols and 3D models are generated in Trimble SketchUp, then georegistered, scaled, and annotated utilizing Microsoft Excel to generate GE keyhole-markup-language (KML) files. 2D geological map symbols are available for stratigraphic layering, cleavage, joints, fractures, faults, and lineation, utilizing an approach based on Whitmeyer's on-line orientation-symbol generator. 3D map symbols use elliptical planes centered on outcrop locations that help tie geological structures to crustal physiography. Excel worksheets are currently designed for groups of as much as 50 structures, and have been successfully used in structural geology laboratory exercises to help students visualize their field work. As GE is designed for viewing the Earth's surface, 3D well-field visualization requires lifting well-field components above land surface by a distance exceeding the deepest well. Well-head positions are established utilizing global-positioning systems (GPS) and digital elevation models. Interpreted borehole televiewer (BTV) records provide incremental structural orientation readings, associated borehole telemetry, and a measure of plane aperture, or thickness. Well-field components include borehole traces with cased and open intervals, geophysical logs, and 3D ellipses representing structural planes that can be dynamically viewed with graduated reference grids. Availability of BTV data on multiple wells in close proximity facilitates comparison of complex stratigraphic and structural relationships. Comparative thickness values for sets of planar features, such as branching and interconnecting faults within a fault zone, can be variably scaled in a model to help assess complex structures in multiply-tectonized terrains. These approaches have proven useful for linking geological heterogeneity, such as cross stratification, to aquifer anisotropy. Assessments are planned of the dimensional accuracy of the 3D well-field models.
  • GCH_52-11_NEGSA2013.pdf (8.4 MB)