3D modeling of simple to complex geological structures

Implementation of educational tools

Created on 2017.04.03 453 views
3D visualization only based on 2D illustrations is not a simple exercise for human brain. Teaching geology and the geometries of the geological layers is therefore, quite complicated. This project aims to model in 3D a complex structure and its previous stages of formation in 3D (4 models) in order to facilitate the comprehension of the depositional and deformational processes responsible for its establishment. The structure studied corresponds to the thrusted anticline of Sellent, Spanish Pyrenees. A field campaign of 1 month allowed collecting geological data concerning the layers’ geometries (dip and thickness measurements, geological mapping at a 1/5000 scale, …). These data led to the construction of 6 geological sections which, combined with the Digital Terrain Model (DTM), were used to construct the current 3D model of the area using CATIA. Complementary bibliographical researches allowed constructing in 3D the 3 previous major stages of the formation of this geological structure. These 4 models can be digitally manipulated thanks to a visualization application so that the geometries induced by such a deformation of the geological layers can be easily appreciated. Moreover, the models will be 3D-printed and used during mapping or tectonic lessons with the students. On the same purpose, other similar but simpler projects are simultaneously being realized. Geological fracturation and associated phenomenon are often difficult to visualize in 3D. A prototype of normal fault has been modeled and 3D-printed in order to be used during mapping and tectonic lessons with the students. This model was created to be filled by plasticine in order to stand for the different geological layers and their behavior. Many other similar models will be created and used to support the learning of geology at UniLaSalle.
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JD Julien Duquennoy
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