Ground modelling is a technique used in geotechnical engineering to create a 3D representation of the subsurface of the earth. It is an essential tool for numerous applications in different fields of geomechanics such as mining to identify mineral deposits and to plan mining operations, environmental engineering to assess the contamination of soil and groundwater and to design remediation strategies, and civil engineering to design foundations, tunnels and other underground structures. In this sense, ground models allow the engineer to understand and to visualize the spatial organization of subsurface geological structures and, additionally, it is possible to evaluate the spatial distribution of material properties which is a crucial in any geomechanical study prior to any project.
In engineering geological and geotechnical studies computer modelling and visualization of geological objects in 3D is currently a useful tool to practical geological analysis and engineering design. Such models consist of the representation of geometric elements such as rock unit boundaries, faults, horizons and intrusions on a scale of meters to kilometers from which the different geological units are defined together with the distribution of the geotechnical properties within the geological units.
The most popular technique for building 3D geological models is based on borehole data typically found in paper documents combined with data provided by other sources such as geophysical surveys and soil and rock samples. There are methodologies to extract paper borehole data which improve the utilization efficiency of paper borehole logs and give more reasonable results of 3D geological modelling. In the same way, a method based on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for quickly and intelligently recognizing and processing paper borehole log information and optimizing the modeling processes after repeated analysis and practice is developed by SAALG Geomechanics.
Considering all of the above, in order to create a ground model, engineers typically use specialized software that can handle large amounts of data and generate accurate 3D representations of the subsurface. As previously mentioned, the process typically involves importing data from various sources, such as borehole logs, and then interpolating the data to create a continuous model of the ground. This model can be used to generate cross-sections, contours, and other visualizations that help engineers better understand the subsurface conditions of the site and it allows them to generate numerical simulations of complex geological phenomena such as earthquakes, fluid transport, etc. This information is critical when designing foundations, embankments, and other structures that rely on ground support. By using ground modelling techniques, engineers can make more informed decisions about how to design these structures, which can ultimately lead to safer and more cost-effective construction projects. Irene Jaqués
PhD. Geotechnical Engineer geotechnical, software engineer, geotechnical engineering software, construction AI, civil engineering software