Earth Resources Center Digital Mapping Lab
Department of Earth and Planetary Science
University of California, Berkeley
307 McCone Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4767
Telephone: (510) 642-5868
Fax: (510) 643-9980
Our contribution to this volume is a summary of the present status of our efforts to help bridge this technological gap by producing well-tested and robust mapping software called GeoMapper and GeoLogger which support real-time digital geological mapping and integration of digital base maps and mapping tools. With our programs, complete "paperless" maps with databases that have full compatibility with ESRI ArcMap for map production are made in the field while employing modern digital electronic tools to maximum advantage for positioning and ranging. In the DMT '01 (Brimhall and Vanegas, 2001) volume we described GeoMapper functionality and use by geologists, including the scientific logic behind the design of the visual user interface, that support the complicated cognitive and reasoning processes of geological deduction. Many previous barriers to workflow have been removed through use of self-explanatory button arrays to access digital base maps and implement efficient mapping of structures (strike and dip, contacts, etc.), lithology, formations, mineralization, and alteration. Button control of GPS and lasers provides integration of base maps, positioning instrumentation, and mapping functions. In GeoMapper, Project Manager sets up mapping region files, and Legend Maker allows a user to easily customize the mapping legend to the local geology using only point-and-click techniques. In this volume, we present a series of applications of GeoMapper to real-world problems to illustrate the efficiency and versatility of GeoMapper and to introduce our new GeoLogger program for digital logging of drill holes.
While we present use of GeoMapper briefly here, we focus on the new features and refer interested readers to the DMT '01 paper (Brimhall and Vanegas, 2001) and to a Web site, http://www.rubicondigital.com/ where GeoMapper and GeoLogger can be obtained commercially and support services can be accessed. For the first time, surface mapping, underground mapping, and drill-hole logging can be accomplished using digital methods implemented in two integrated and compatible mapping software systems, one for mapping and the other for logging. Map production is done using the most widely used GIS software or alternatively by printing directly from GeoMapper and GeoLogger.
Remaining challenges in office digital mapping surround scientific and technical standards that reduce inconsistencies in the geological legends and in the creation of comprehensive relational databases that support the profound complexities of geology (Soller and Berg, 2001; Soller and others, 2001). Previously, paper geological-map series tolerated inconsistencies between map sheets, but GIS and related digital systems need a more stringent approach (Jackson and Asch, 2002).
GeoMapper uses Strata Software's PenMap as an underlying program and can be viewed as advanced extension of it with new programmed capabilities to organize projects and customize the mapping legends. PenMap is a powerful surveying program with extensive device drivers to many GPS and surveying instruments and provides the raw graphics elements of points, lines, areas, and symbols. Kramer (2000) described the GeoMapper extension of PenMap as the "most complete, field tested, and proven Windows-based software for creating geological maps in the field." Use of GeoMapper has been described for general geology (Brimhall, 1998), field classes for undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering and planning (Brimhall, 1999), and in professional mining and exploration geology (Brimhall and Vanegas, 2000). In collaboration with the USGS Water Resources Division, GeoMapper has been linked with hyperspectral infrared spectrometers for identifying and mapping minerals exposed on abandoned mine dumps as part of site characterization for screening and remediation including mapping from a helicopter platform (Montero Sanchez and Brimhall, 1998, in press; Montero Sanchez and others, 1999, in press).
In the past, many challenges retarded advances in field data capture. Besides the lack of effective software, until recently the hardware systems proved less than desirable. Only in the last year have there been available truly daylight-readable ruggedized color-pen-tablet PC computers (running Windows '98 and its successors). These PC's use lithium ion batteries with 3 to 4 hours of battery life. Effective electronic tools that plug into the pen tablets have existed for several years. Portable GPS units using Omnistar or the Coast Guard beacon for differential corrections in real time function without the need for a local base station. These units offer 1-meter accuracy in Northing and Easting and 2.5 meters in elevation unless satellite reception is obstructed by steep topography or tall buildings. Laser range finders with built in digital tilt meter and compass function up to 300 meters from the user. GeoMapper provides ready access through PenMap to all these digital tools and, in addition, creates a visual user interface that supports efficient geological mapping, including addition of color infill for formations using snap nodes and shared databases along contacts. Creation of professional-grade colored geological maps is straightforward with GeoMapper. Visual basic programs in GeoMapper provide database management and conversion for compatibility with ERSI ArcMap for seamless map production.
|Figure 1. General regions for Correlation of Stratigraphic Units Charts (COSUNA) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) (Childs and Salvador, 1985). Abbreviations: NCA, Northern California; CCA, Central California; GB, Great Basin; etc.|
Within each regional AAPG chart, individual stratigraphic columns are presented in a plan map index (Figure 2) showing their geographic position and proximity to other stratigraphic sections in the same region, e.g., "GB" for Great Basin. The sections, including one example in Figure 3, are based both on drill-hole information and on surface geology. COSUNA charts show all stratigraphic sections in a region by their column number and geographic name. Formations are positioned vertically down through time with colored codes showing their dominant lithology. The COSUNA charts show the stratigraphic columns correlated with formal systems, series/stages, chronostratigraphic units, magnetic anomaly, planktonic foram zone, mammalian stages, molluscan stages, benthic foram zone, and absolute age in millions of years. With this information presented graphically, construction of mapping legends is possible for a broad array of disciplines including general geology, paleontology, environmental geology, engineering geology, hydrology, petrology, oil and gas, coal, industrial minerals. and metals mining and exploration. The CD-ROM is available on the Web from the AAPG Bookstore at http://www.aapg.org/datasystems/LibraryPricing.html.
|Figure 2. California and Nevada regions for AAPG COSUNA Charts. Numbers represent the position of specific stratigraphic columns.|
Figure 3. Example of part of a COSUNA chart for southern California.
VIEW a printable PDF file in a new window.
|Figure 4. Project Manager in GeoMapper, showing button access to Legend Maker and other features.|
Once the geological legend has been made, one clicks on Start Mapping on the Project Manager window (Figure 4). From this point on, GeoMapper's visual user interface shows arrays of buttons arranged so as to provide a logical, self-explanatory set of features used in mapping. In GeoMapper, the databases, layers files, and symbols are preprogrammed and linked so a user need not be concerned with database construction nor management. These tools are described in detail and illustrated in Brimhall and Vanegas (2001).
Figure 5. The Tools Toolbar contains special features such as those necessary for mapping and exporting completed maps and numerical databases into ESRI ArcMap for seamless map production.
Figure 6. ESRI ArcMap rendering of lines, styles, symbols, formation color infills, and outcrop lithology patterns made in GeoMapper and exported directly into ArcMap.
Figure 7. Aerial photograph of the Hat Creek Radio Telescope Observatory in northeastern California. Young basalt flows are present on the left side of the photo.
Figure 8. GPS base station set-up showing solar panels for power. Note radio telescopes in the background. Reference point is a permanent USGS survey monument.
|Figure 9. Hillslope angle in plan view. Dark areas are cliff faces of the flow terminus. Contour interval is 2.5 slope units.|
|Figure 10. Irene Montero Sanchez (A) and George Brimhall (B) demonstrate use of digital mapping system (from Montero Sanchez and Brimhall, in press). Numbers identify components in the mapping system. 1, probe holder for spectrometerÕs fiber optic probe; staff on which holder rests maintains the probe away from the operator at a constant height and angle above the ground. 2, target on the ground. 3, fiber optic cable transmitting light from the cable opening to the spectrometer. 4, portable, battery-operated spectrometer. 5, laser range finder with internal digital inclinometer and magnetic compass. 6, portable differential GPS receiver (inside backpack). 7, DGPS antenna. 8, pen-tablet portable PC computer.|
|Figure 11. Helicopter-based digital mapping system combining hyperspectral visible and infrared (IR) spectrometer and pen-tablet-based control system running GeoMapper. GPS unit is in the tail section and automatically updates the UTM coordinates of the reflectorless laser. Map shows pixels classified by the dominant mineral identified by the spectrometer.|
|Figure 12. Raised-relief tactile-reality model of the University of California, Berkeley for blind students. Heights of buildings were determined by laser range finder from the ground. Model is made of polyurethane foam machined from a solid block.|
Furthermore, the buttons are shown in the general sequence of their use so that scientific logic guides the selection of mapping tools. GeoLogger starts with a form for entry of drill-hole information (Figure 13). From there, a log sheet appears in digital form (Figure 14) showing geotechnical rock quality designation (RQD), structure, lithology, alteration, and sulfide mineralization. The format of the log sheet is designed in accordance with the needs of the users. The GeoLogger interface appears much like that of GeoMapper so that it is easy to learn and fast in execution. GeoLogger serves a variety of logging applications: base metals, precious metals, industrial minerals, and oil and gas.
Figure 13. GeoLogger data-entry form for a drill hole.
Figure 14. Digital log sheet. Point-and-click spatial resolution is 1 cm -- features may be located to hole depths with an accuracy of 1 cm), stored, and retrieved from the digital log sheet and database.
The button color-coding uses the "traffic light" method with green, yellow and red phases of activity. Green buttons are the most commonly used buttons in geological mapping. Yellow buttons are procedures that are used only rarely (for example if you need to erase or undo the last work). Red buttons are procedures that are essential to do before you stop mapping (for example, saving your files or exporting critical files). Other colors relate to special-use functions, such as light-blue buttons for selecting various-scale log sheets.
GeoLogger has an organized array of buttons representing different rock types, structures, mineralization, alteration, sampling, and geotechnical features, each set in a tool bar. To log a feature, one has only to click on the appropriate button and then touch the screen of the pen-tablet computer at the appropriate hole depth. If the feature occurs over an interval of core, then the top and bottom depths on the screen are touched. This point-and-click action automatically selects the right layer, database, and graphics and associates this information with the down-hole depth. The computer, stylus, visual user interface, and base log sheet provide an integrated system for the geologist. Digital images of core samples provide ready access to key features noticed while logging (Figure 15). Notes are entered using a stylus and digital keyboard. The final printout of the completed digital log appears identical to paper logs. Chemical data such as metal assays can be imported into the log database and displayed for purposes of correlating with observed geological features (Figure 16).
|Figure 15. Digital image of diamond drill core.|
|Figure 16. Example of GeoLogger log showing imported platinum group metals (PGM), copper and nickel, and normative sulfides (pyrite, pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and chalcopyrite), computed using metal and sulfur assays, and correlation coefficients of PGM with each normative sulfide.|
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