I work with engineering geology, and my workflow includes making many cross sections of a given site, with data from maps, fieldwork (outcrops) and boreholes.
What I'm looking for is a way of taking many cross sections and making a 3D model, with open source software, even with lots of (CAD) drawing work, but preferably with few code or programming knowledge.
So, when I first noticed this software (GSI3D), that takes many cross sections (actually a fence diagram) and gives, as a result, a 3D model, made of solids and not just surfaces, I thought it would be the perfect software. The image below is from the software website.
Given that I don't have the resources to buy it, I was thinking if there wouldn't be a free alternative (open source software) to this approach.
So I think the approach would be:
- Take the (CAD drawn) cross sections and combine them all in a GIS software, resulting in a fence diagram;
- Interpolate between all of the cross sections, resulting in surfaces, or even better, solids, each one representing a geological layer or lithotype;
- Make new cross sections between the former ones, to refine and adjust the model.
So, I think the 3rd step means that there is no need of a (very) complex interpolation algorithm, because the geological complexity would come from the cross sections, that are human made, not from the interpolation, that would be computer made.
The approach would be a first, simple, computer made interpolation, refined by manual adjustments.
To make it clearer, I'm not looking for a way of making a 3D geological model with complex interpolation algorithms to do all the work for me. I wouldn't mind having many iterations of cross sections to adjust and refine the 3D model, but I need a first (simple) interpolation so that I can work from it. The GSI3D approach seems to be it (I haven't used the software, but that's what I've understand).
- Looking for a free program for 3D visualization
- Is there QGIS plugin to allow 3d visualisation of geological borehole data similar to functionality of Target for ArcGIS?
- 3D visualisation with open source GIS software
- Combining Geological Grids and extruding between them?
- a forum discussion
- a paper (this one looks good, but the author didn't uses GIS)
among other GIS sources, and it appears that GRASS would be the best choice, but the discussion (when using GRASS) seems to be always about an algorithm to do the hard work or using an expensive, proprietary software.
If the answer is GRASS, what would be the tools to do it (as I sad earlier, is there a way of doing it with just a few programming knowledge)?