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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-184
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-184
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Dec 2019

10 Dec 2019

Review status
A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE and is expected to appear here in due course.

A review and evaluation of the methodology for digitising 2D fracture networks and topographic lineaments in GIS

Romesh Palamakumbura1, Maarten Krabbendam1, Katie Whitbread1, and Christian Arnhardt2 Romesh Palamakumbura et al.
  • 1British Geological Survey, The Lyell Centre, Research Avenue South, Edinburgh EH14 4AP, UK
  • 2British Geological Survey, Nicker Hill, Keyworth NG12 5GG

Abstract. Understanding the impact of fracture networks on rock mass properties is an essential part of a wide range of fields in geosciences, from understanding permeability of groundwater aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs to erodibility properties and slope stability of rock masses for geotechnical engineering. However, gathering high quality, oriented-fracture datasets in the field can be difficult and time consuming, for example due to constraints on time or access (e.g. cliffs). Therefore, a method for obtaining accurate, quantitative fracture data from photographs is a significant benefit. In this paper we describe and evaluate the method for generating a series of digital fracture traces in GIS-environment, in which spatial analysis of a fracture network can be carried out. The method is not meant to replace the gathering of data in the field, but to be used in conjunction, and is well suited where fieldwork time is limited, or where the section cannot be accessed directly. The basis of the method is the generation of the vector dataset (shapefile) of a fracture network from a georeferenced photograph of an outcrop in a GIS environment. From that shapefile, key parameters such as fracture density and orientation can be calculated. Furthermore, in the GIS-environment more complex spatial calculations and graphical plots can be carried out such as heat maps of fracture density. There are a number of advantages to using a digital method for gathering fracture data including: time efficiency, generating large fracture network datasets, flexibility during data gathering and consistency of data.

Romesh Palamakumbura et al.

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Status: closed
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Romesh Palamakumbura et al.

Romesh Palamakumbura et al.

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Short summary
The paper is a review and evaluation of a digital method for characterising fracture networks. The method involves creating a series of scaled-digital traces from a georeferenced photograph of an outcrop. The digital vector data set can be used to deduce fracture network parameters such as density, spacing and mean length. There are a number of advantages to using this method such as time efficiency, generating large data sets, flexibility during data gathering and consistency of data.
The paper is a review and evaluation of a digital method for characterising fracture networks....
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