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Using structural frames to build complex 3D geological models in LoopStructural

In order to transition to more sustainable technologies, we as society need to improve our ability to find and manage natural resources. One of the biggest challenges for managing natural resources is our ability to characterise the subsurface distribution of geological objects including mineralisation, structures and stratigraphy. Standard approaches for quantifying the geometries of these objects interpolate these geometries using mathematical interpolation techniques which generally cannot incorporate geological rules and knowledge. Here we use a time aware modelling approach where the most recent geological feature is modelled first. The geometry of the first feature is then used to build a structural frame, a curvilinear coordinate system aligned the geometry of the feature for example capturing the fault surface and slip direction or fold axis and axial surface. The structural frame can then be used as a reference frame and combined with a conceptual model conditioned to geological observations to model the geometry of the older geological features. Using appropriate overprinting relationships and geological rules it is possible to combine multiple structural frames to characterise complicated geological objects for example refolded folds, overprinting fault networks and duplex faults. We demonstrate the application of structural frame to modelling folds, faults and intrusions with different case studies demonstrating how incorporating the structural frames allow for geologists to use models to test geological hypotheses to further understand subsurface geometries.


Lachlan Grose1, Laurent Ailleres1, Gautier Laurent2, Fernanda Alvarado-Neves1, Angela Afonso Rodrigues1
1Monash University, Australia; 2University of Orleans
GeoBerlin 2023