3D Modelling of Geology and Soils – A Case Study from the UK
Developments in GIS based technology have greatly aided the routine production of three-dimensional geological maps. Similarly the continued development of airborne remote sensing, geophysics and infrared measurement now provide tools that can assist in the mapping of soil structure and properties rapidly in 2D, 3D and even 4D. Whilst the combined use of such techniques have grown popular for performing site investigations and developing conceptual models of contaminated sites their use in determining and mapping soil has been restricted.
In this paper, we describe ongoing work at the British Geological Survey in which we have combined a variety of remote sensing, soil, geological and geophysical survey techniques to assist in the production of site specific, 3D digital soil models and geological maps. We were particularly interested in investigating (a) to what extent do methodological differences between the UK’s soil and geological communities hinder the development of an integrated near surface model (b) whether technologies to map geology in 3D can be used to develop spatial models of the soil; and (c) can technologies used in digital soil mapping assist in reducing uncertainties associated with such models at a range of scales.
To date we have found clear evidence that differences in terminology do hinder the development of linked models of the near surface environment; but that such differences can be resolved by dialog between field surveyors from each discipline at an early stage in the process. The GSI3D software used in this work performed well in this, relatively simple usage and a successful 3D model of the Brakenhurst surface environment was obtained. However our attempt to use digital soil mapping techniques was compromised by the relatively poor contrast in soil properties across this specific site. Further investigations across representative soil landscapes are being carried out that should address this issue and provide more insight into the adoption of digital soil mapping techniques at a local scale.
KeywordsSoil Horizon Ground Penetrating Radar Digital Terrain Model Groundwater Vulnerability Electrical Resistivity Tomography
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