Monday, January 15, 2018

Viewing 3D planes (discs) with a specified diameter and orientation in ArcScene

We have been pondering how to visualize planes in 3D as a way to assess correlation of beds in an area. My colleague Chris Campisano and our jointly supervised PhD student Dominique Garello was asking about this for a while. We discussed a few solutions, including the MOVE suite and RIMS among others. I know there is a lot of software out there for this.

I decided to tackle it in a very simple way with the constraint that it would only use Excel and ArcGIS (ArcMap and ArcScene). I googled around an there was not an obvious solution already.

The basic steps:

  1. Produce a disc in MS Excel by creating a circle with a specified diameter and center. Rotate the dip around N-S axis and then rotate around vertical to apply the strike (then make it the correct size and translate to correct center)
  2. Load the rim points into ArcMap, view the X Y points with elevations
  3. Create a TIN (triangulate the rim points to make the disk)
  4. Visualize it in ArcScene

I wrote a tutorial (link) and the spreadsheet is here.

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