International Geologiical Congress - Oslo 2008


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IEI-12 Geological maps in the digital era: Quo Vadis?


Databases (GIS) in the structural geology: Building, processing, modelling and visualisation


Urszula Stepien, Polish Geological Institute (Poland)
Pawel Karnkowski, Warsaw University (Poland)
Maciej Klos, Warsaw University (Poland)


All geological structures being in the scope of structural geology have a geospatial location. The basic feature of them is their position with reference to the Earth's coordinate system. A simplest method of their location is to mark them on a map, considering their position according to regional or global coordinates. A set of data being characteristic for an individual type of structures is easy to arrange in the tabular form, where each row is matched to one location of the structure, and in columns is listed all information describing the given structure in the qualitative and the quantitative way.
Usefulness of such organized databases (GIS) discloses particularly at the stage of their processing, especially when the given data could be visualised on the thematic layer. This layer can be compared with other layers and then a number of combinations is unlimited.
Possibilities of databases (GIS) usage reveal also in the case of geological modelling. Strike and dip data which are traditionally marked on the map by specific symbols (very often as average values), are here a good example. Because in the database (GIS) the unlimited amount of data can be recorded, all they could also be applied for a geological modelling. Geostatistical methods are especially useful. Dip and strike maps prepared in this way consider all data visualising in the proper projection of study.
Till now in Poland, as in other countries and regions, there are no institutionally organized databases (GIS) for structural geology. Ovules of such databases, however, already exist and they were formed as a part of master's and doctoral thesis for selected areas in Poland (the Holy Cross Mts. and Podhale region in the Carpathians).
It seems that now is the proper time to create such specialized databases (GIS) for structural geology, as for example ? ones dedicated to palaentological collections. Many manuscript materials still exist which are suitable for writing them into organised databases. When we become aware of so many measurements could be lost being still dispersed and unorganized as databases, how many surveys must be repeated to obtained data for modern computer reprocessing and modelling - this is apparent that now is the last moment to grant this proposal as an international project. Data collected in this way can be systematically enlarged, continuously analysed by different researchers or teams, due to the permanent development of computer techniques. Results obtained by this way will take into account the geospatial aspect in the structural geology in the greater degree than it was realized till now.


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