Geological Modeling

3D regional scale geological model.
Figure 1. A 3D regional-scale geologic model from A) bird’s-eye view and B) oblique view showing surficial and internal distribution of geologic formations; click/tap image to open a high-resolution version. Source: Reprinted from 3D Provincial Geological Framework Model of Alberta, Version 2 Metadata and Methodology, Alberta Energy Regulator / Alberta Geological Survey, AER/AGS MOD 2018-02.


Three-dimensional geologic framework maps are a fundamental data source for modeling changes over time, managing risk to life-safety, public and private infrastructure, and economic welfare (Figure 1). In 2021, the California governor and legislature approved funding for the California Geological Survey to develop a multibenefit 3D geologic framework mapping pilot project (3D Geo) to support the state in sustainable groundwater management, seismic hazard mitigation, carbon sequestration, and mineral resource evaluations. Through collaboration with state partners and stakeholder groups, the CGS developed a scope of work for a pilot project in the southern San Joaquin Valley based on the needs of project stakeholders and data availability, density, and quality required for 3D geological mapping and modeling. The project duration is from July 2021 to June 2024.

Example 3D geologic modeling diagram.
Figure 2. Example 3D geologic diagram with various co-located, multibeneficial uses and interests displayed. Represented features include CO2 or other gas storage, geothermal energy, oil and gas production, brine extraction or disposal, mining, flood control, energy production, agriculture, natural environment, built environment, and more. Source: Modified from TNO, Geological Survey of the Netherlands.
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Web page by:
California Regional Geologic and Landslide Mapping Program

Last modified: 4/29/2022

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