Overview and History of 3-D Modeling Approaches

Andrew J. Stumpf, Donald A. Keefer, Alan Keith Turner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on layer-based modeling of the subsurface, which aims at a geometrically consistent, three-dimensional representation of various types of stratigraphic surfaces. The models contain structural or tectonic features appropriate to the user requirements and mapping objectives. Geologists initially undertook 3-D modeling to represent multi-dimensional objects with gridded values, or range of values, that reflected changes in their shape or value distribution over time. Between the 1950s and 1970s, several experimental approaches to displaying 3-D geological sequences more explicitly were developed. Subsurface geological models are being accepted as valuable resource-management and planning tools and have become mandated as part of official regulation and management environments. The chapter provides the discussion of the early modeling efforts for the Mahomet aquifer. Geological framework models typically map the distribution of major geologic units, which represent assemblages of rock types. 3-D interpolation methods are well suited to the creation of geological property models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplied Multidimensional Geological Modeling
Subtitle of host publicationInforming Sustainable Human Interactions with the Shallow Subsurface
EditorsAlan Keith Turner, Holger Kessler, Michiel J van der Meulen
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781119163091
ISBN (Print)9781119163121
StatePublished - Jun 18 2021


  • 3-D geological models
  • Geological mapping
  • Mahomet aquifer
  • Resource-management
  • Subsurface geological models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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