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  • Frans Basson

GEM4D Version available for download

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

Version adds a feature that I have been thinking about for many months - fitting a curved surface through mapping data that take account of their orientations (similar to some geological packages). It took me some time to figure out, but the results are great and it opens a world of new possibilities. Many thanks for KdP that often discussed this with me, and also the inputs and thoughts from RT, LH and KB on specific aspects.

New functionality

  • Add "Top toolbar => Discs icon => Best fit warped surface". This works the same as the "Best fit planar disc", but create a warped surface through the points that take account of the mapping orientations - see discussion below.

  • Add "Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Surface => Warped surface". This option fits the best warped surface through the visible markers points. As the warping calculations are involved, many visible marker points will take a while to solve - from around 500 points the time could be measured in minutes.

  • Add "Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Surface => Convert surface to DXF". This option converts the surface to a mesh and save the result as a DXF-file. The result is automatically loaded and available in the files list.

  • Adds a "Ribbon => Mapping => Mapping actions => Surface" drop-down button with similar options to the "Surface" drop-down button under "Ribbon => Markers".

  • The first option "Planar surface" fits a planar surface to the visible mapping points, but uses the mapping orientations to determine the best-fit orientation. This planar surface will thus be different to a surface created from markers, as markers do not have associated orientation information.

  • The second option "Warped surface" fits a warped surface to the visible mapping points. The warping takes account of the mapping orientations and distorts the surface even outside the visible data boundaries. As the warping calculations are involved, many visible data points will take a while to solve.

  • The remaining options are the same as the similar buttons in the Marker-area.

  • Add "Convert to DXF" to both Marker and Mapping surfaces.


  • When loading files without associated colours, random colours were always assigned in previous versions. I changed that in the latest version, but the previous approach works better and was restored.

  • Removed redundant functionality that were either replaced by better solutions or not useful.

  • Loading unsorted drillholes files resulted in data loss, so GEM4D now automatically sorts data on DHid and then depth down when loaded.

  • Change the way the disc size is selected when creating best-fit discs and warped surfaces.

Bug fixes

  • Correct a spelling mistake or two in the interface and tooltips - fixed.

  • The Marker grid was affected by loading data into the Mapping grid, which could cause errors - fixed.

  • The file name list box was updated in the previous version with check boxes, and some selection sequences was unstable - fixed.

  • In the latest version, the vertical clipping caused issues in some cases - fixed.

Discussion: Best fit planar and warped surfaces

Step 1: Load mapping data with "Ribbon => Mapping => Text (CSV)" and show them as disc shapes. Showing them as discs is not required, but simplify the identification of mapping planes from the same geological structure.

Step 2: Select either "Best fit planar disc" or "Best fit warped disc" from "Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Surface". Mouse pick the mapping discs of a single structure with the left mouse button, and the best-fit plane through the mapping discs will be updated with every pick.

Step 3: When all the mapping discs are selected, click the right mouse button. A pop-up input box will request the disc size, select the default value for a disc that exactly covers the picked data. Select a larger value to extrapolate the best-fit surface.

Step 4: Select "Convert discs to DXF" to replace the surface with a mesh that is saved as a DXF-file. All the mesh functionality from the top toolbar is then available to colour or transform the mesh - see the sample on the bottom image.

GEM4D: Best-fit warped plane to mapping data

The image below is a geological structure from mapping data. The surface was created with "Ribbon => Mapping => Mapping actions => Surface => Warped surface", and then converted to a DXF-file with "Convert surface to DXF". The surface is slightly transparent, and the mapping discs are shown to evaluate the warped surface in relation to the mapping locations and orientations.

GEM4D: Warped surface fitted through mapping data

The warped surface in the bottom image was created from piezometer marker data with "Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Surface => Warped surface". The surface was converted to a DXF-file and then coloured on elevation with "Top toolbar => Yellow colour palette icon => Colour on elevation". The available data points are shown to indicate the warping relative to the marker locations.

GEM4D: Create a water table from piezometer data and a warped surface

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