Geologic Surfaces (Raster Grids) with Discontinuities

04-01-2013 05:40 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor III

Please try harder to recognize that geologic surfaces have discontinuities.  They are not just a solid, continuous, rectangular grid.  There are often linear discontinuities (faults), exclusive holes (fault gaps, salt penetration), and inclusive edges (pinch-outs, erosion, or end of interpretation).  And these features need to be displayed as nice smooth features, not stair-steps, zig-zags, scallops, or other unappealing and non-geologic shapes.
Value:  many geoscientists refuse to accept or embrace ArcGIS because of these shortcomings.  Some of it is purely the aesthetic appeal of the resulting maps, and some is more significant deficiencies in modeling and making calculations on the geologic surfaces.
The Petroleum User Group (PUG) has been pushing this subject for years, as shortcomings in the ability to adequately process and display these features are a significant barrier to increased usage in our industry.  Progress has been made, but there is still more needed.
Recognizing progress, we are glad to see:
1. Spline with Barriers:  this interpolation tool solves the issue of faults, but the python implementation has some flaws (shift due to rotation) and performs quite poorly in comparison to other interpolation tools.
2. Contour with Barriers:  this was a good step forward, but fell short as the Polygon option was never implemented.

Following are the next priorities, which are each documented separately with additional details.

1. Blank Grid/Raster inside Exclusive Polygons:  this seems like it should be extremely easy, please just do it.  Reference:

2. Color Fill Contour Polygons:  finish implementation in Contour with Barriers.  Reference:

3. Spline with Barriers:  resolve shortcomings in the implementation mentioned above.  Reference:

Note: this is a strategic request, consolidating several issues from the Petroleum User Group:

For additional information, contact


Forgot to mention that Maplex labeling of contours was another great step forward on this subject!
The ideas links above with the "" address should work if you are already logged into the ideas site (which uses SalesForce VisualForce), but the more generic links are below.
Geologic Surfaces (Raster Grids) with Discontinuities  (this idea)
Blank Grid/Raster inside Exclusive Polygons
Contour Polygons
Spline with Barriers Deficiencies
I thought we solved this problem?  You can grid with faults now. 

"And these features need to be displayed as nice smooth features, not stair-steps, zig-zags, scallops, or other unappealing and non-geologic shapes"

 You can solve this with geodatabase representations if you want it to look something other than the actual geometry.  You can also generalize the feature.

From Esri: We still need addtional information on this requirement.

ArcGIS Ideas Moderator

mhogan:  thanks for reply.  Could you pose some specific questions to clarify, or put me ( in contact with a person to discuss in more detail?

inteller: no, visual problems must be resolved at the source. It is not possible to fix with GDB representations, generalizing features, or any other post processing.

inteller: yes, can grid with faults, but still issues with this process, as documented in separate item for Spline with Barriers.
by Anonymous User
 Pug Idea List 2014:  Kteve Kopp, ESRI LeadPug Idea List 2014:  Steve Kopp, ESRI Lead
3 issues with this one. Blank grid values was addressed by a sample last year on the resource center.  Comment from Rich: It should be part of the standard tool kt, and bundled with other things. People may not be able to find it.   Color Fill: Was documented, but the implementation didn't handle NULL values very well.   Also need to be able to handle barriers.  Spline with Barriers: Script had some bugs in it, and have to pass the data in a certain way.