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I'm using ArcScene 10.3 to view temperature data as seen below:

enter image description here

This data come from a CTD, an instrument that measures the conductivity (salinity) temperature and depth of the ocean. It is lowered to the seafloor making recordings every few seconds.

What I ideally would like to do is interpolate the temperature across the entire area. Then I could take a vertical slice anywhere and see the expected temperatures. ArcScene seems great for visualizing the 3D data but not so great for doing any kind of interpolations.

My best solution so far is a total hack. I choose several of the CDT casts that were somewhat in a line and measured the distance between the first and each subsequent CTD cast. I then added a new field to the data table called distance with this info. I used display xy data in ArcMap setting the distance as x and the depth as y and changed the symbol to show the temperature gradient. enter image description here

From there I interpolated using ordinary kriging and then exported the interpolation as a tif file which I overlayed on the arcScene map. This solution doesn't seem very rigorous because of the way I calculated distance and the fact that I just placed an image of the interpolation about where it belonged on the ArcScene map. How else can I interpolate this data so I can view in 3D? enter image description here

*note the first image is from a different area than the last two images

  • Please keep your question focused on just one of ArcGIS Desktop, QGIS and R so that you can communicate clearly with potential answerers as they ask for any clarifications about what you have tried with that do far. – PolyGeo Aug 22 '17 at 21:39
  • I edited my question as requested. I included R and QGIS because I wanted anyone trying to help to know that I'm familiar with both and open to other software. I've been searching extensively and have yet to find a good solution within ESRI. – user3281667 Aug 22 '17 at 21:52
  • You can always ask separate but otherwise similar questions about those products. Remember that many people who visit this Q&A later will not have the same software alternatives as you and so mentioning them and getting partial answers about them just leads to less clear Q&A. – PolyGeo Aug 22 '17 at 22:05
  • You would have noticed by now that ArcGIS isn't so good at working in 3d. You could create 'slices' by selecting target values in temperature, finding the minimum depth that temperature occurs at and creating a TIN or Terrain which would give some layering with transparency set but would not interpolate outside the data points.. it would really look nice if you could create a cross section of temperatures as a raster and stand it up; you'd probably need to use other software to do this though. – Michael Stimson Aug 22 '17 at 22:09
  • @MichaelStimson I really like your idea of creating slices based on temperature values. Any advice on what tool to use to create the TINs? I agree, my ideal end product is a temperature cross section that I can stand up on the bathymetry – user3281667 Aug 28 '17 at 15:12

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