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High Precision 3D Modelling of Complex Geological Structures: An Approach Combining Different Types of Software for Maximum Efficiency

3D modelling of complex salt structures for the purpose of final disposal of radioactive waste requires a particulary high degree of precision. In this perspective, conventional geological 3D modelling software fails to produce satisfying results. For this reason, BGR uses the software openGEO that allows the integration of all types of basic geoscientific data. In particular, for the management of ground-penetrating radar measurements a group of specific tools has been developed as part of the software package. However, compared to conventional 3D geological modelling software openGEO is more labour-intensive. This is because model surfaces are not created by an algorithmic procedure. Quite the contrary, surfaces need to be constructed manually by considering and incorporating all accessible data. Especially for areas within the model where data are limited and/or geological structures are simple in terms of geometry, the idea is, that the combination of openGEO with software that is based on an interpolation algorithm would facilitate the modelling process. As a first approach, simple geological structures were modelled in SKUA-GOCAD and merged with the model in openGEO. Here we present first results from combining both software packages in the described way. We used salt structures and their complex inner layers for testing the developed workflow. Thus, we are here introducing a more efficient approach compared to the sole use of openGEO and add a new level of flexibility. The workflow can potentially be applied to the 3D modelling in other geologically complex settings where a high degree of precion is required.


Tatjana Thiemeyer, Manuela Stehle, Christian Dresbach, Matthias Beushausen
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)
GeoKarlsruhe 2021