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 GCShaded Relief in Previous HitDisplayNext Hit of Previous HitSeismicNext Hit Previous HitDataNext Hit*

By

Arthur Barnes1

 Search and Discovery Article #40097 (2003)

 

*Adapted for online presentation from the Geophysical Corner column in AAPG Explorer August, 2002, entitled “What a Relief Shade Can Be,” prepared by the author. Appreciation is expressed to the author, to R. Randy Ray, Chairman of the AAPG Geophysical Integration Committee, and to Larry Nation, AAPG Communications Director, for their support of this online version.

1Landmark Graphics, Englewood, Colorado ([email protected].)

 

Introduction 

In the shaded relief image of Figure 1 you see a rugged mountain with craters on its flanks. Lunar topography? A stretch of remote desert on Earth? Hardly – it is a time slice through a Previous HitseismicNext Hit volume. Compare this image with Figure 2, a conventional Previous HitdisplayNext Hit of the same Previous HitdataNext Hit, and you will agree that shaded relief wonderfully complements standard

displays by revealing details and presenting them in a form that geologists readily appreciate. Yet, already knew that, for shaded relief has been employed for over a century in displays of topography, and today it is ubiquitous in the Previous HitdisplayNext Hit of any geological or geophysical Previous HitdataNext Hit that is presented as a map, including digital elevations, gravity and magnetic Previous HitdataNext Hit, interpreted Previous HitseismicNext Hit horizons and geologic models. Whatever the application, the motivation for shaded relief displays is always the same – to transform Previous HitdataNext Hit into realistic-looking apparent topography and thereby aid interpretation by revealing or suggesting true geology.

 

 

 

uIntroduction

uFigure captions

uShaded relief and Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit

uSummary

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uIntroduction

uFigure captions

uShaded relief and Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit

uSummary

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uIntroduction

uFigure captions

uShaded relief and Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit

uSummary

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure Captions

Figure 1. A picture of the moon? No, a time slice through a Previous HitseismicNext Hit volume displayed as shaded relief. Note the left-to-right fault cutting across the dome.

 

 

Figure 2. The conventional Previous HitdisplayNext Hit of the same time slice shown in Figure 1.

Click to view sequence of Figures 2  (conventional Previous HitdisplayNext Hit of time slice) and 1 (shaded relief  for time slice).

 

Figure 3. The relative illumination at a point on a surface is a function of the angle between the incident light and the surface normal.

 

 

Figure 4. Dip-azimuth corresponding to Figure 2. The color represents the azimuth, which refers to the down-dip direction and is therefore perpendicular to geologic strike. Blue is north, green is east, yellow is south, and red is west. The shading of the color represents the dip, with more shading signifying steeper dips. Dip-azimuth presents the same information as shaded relief, but is less intuitive.

 

Figure 5. Reflection continuity corresponding to Figure 2. Shaded relief complements continuity.

Click to view sequence of Figures 2 (conventional Previous HitdisplayNext Hit of time slice), 4 (dip-azimuth), and 5 (reflection continuity).

 

Shaded Relief and Previous HitSeismicNext Hit Previous HitDataNext Hit  

Why was shaded relief not applied to the Previous HitdisplayNext Hit of Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit long ago? After all, Previous HitseismicNext Hit reflections may fairly be taken as representing buried topography, and so they seem natural for shaded relief.

 

Two reasons stand out:   

  • Shaded relief requires 3-D Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit, which has only become widely available in the last decade.

  • There is a conceptual hurdle to jump over. Unlike most geophysical Previous HitdataNext Hit, which define a solitary surface to illuminate, 3-D Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit must be thought of as a collection of surfaces to illuminate simultaneously. This concept is the key to Previous HitseismicNext Hit shaded relief.

 

To apply shaded relief to a 3-D Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit volume, then: 

  • Consider the entire volume as a collection of reflection surfaces, and consider every Previous HitdataNext Hit point in the volume as lying on some particular reflection surface (Figure 3).

  • Illuminate these surfaces simultaneously with a single distant light source, the “sun.” Because the sun is distant, illumination is uniform in direction and intensity throughout the Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit volume.

  • Compute the shaded relief of a surface as its relative illumination, which is some function of the angle between the incident light and the reflection surface. The orientations of the reflection surfaces are found through available reflection dip and azimuth attributes, which measure the strike and dip of the buried rock layers.
  • Decide whether the surfaces appear dull or shiny, exaggerate the slopes in your Previous HitdataNext Hit to enhance the relief, and you are done.

 

Shaded relief actually contains the same information as the common dip-azimuth attribute (Figure 4). This common information is the reflection dip and azimuth. Shaded relief combines them into apparent topography, whereas dip-azimuth shows them together with dip determining the shading of the Previous HitdisplayNext Hit and azimuth determining its color. The difference is only in how it presents this information. Of course, as any marketer can attest, presentation is significant – and in this case, geoscientists are likely to find that dip-azimuth confuses as much as shaded relief enlightens. 

While shaded relief replaces dip-azimuth, it complements other attributes, such as continuity (Figure 5). Both shaded relief and continuity reveal details hidden in the Previous HitdataNext Hit, but continuity highlights faults and other discontinuities, whereas shaded relief shows changes in reflector orientation. 

There is also a difference of directionality, for most attributes reveal structures in all directions, whereas shaded relief is directional, enhancing features perpendicular to the illumination direction while suppressing those that are parallel. As a result, shaded relief displays should be created in pairs with orthogonal illumination directions so as to capture all features. This directionality is useful, as it makes a powerful directional filter of shaded relief, enabling a user to selectively highlight certain trends while hiding others.

 

Summary 

Previous HitSeismicNext Hit shaded relief represents Previous HitseismicNext Hit reflections as apparent topography. This facilitates geologic understanding by revealing structural and stratigraphic details hidden in Previous HitseismicNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit and presenting them in a familiar and intuitive Previous HitdisplayTop. Shaded relief is effective, cheap, and fun. What a relief!

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