Multi-Scale Visualization and Interpretation of Geological Relationships
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Visualization and interpretation of geological observations into a cohesive geological model are essential to Earth sciences and related fields. Various emerging technologies offer approaches to multi-scale visualization of heterogeneous data, providing new opportunities that facilitate model development and interpretation processes. These include increased accessibility to 3D scanning technology, global connectivity, and Web-based interactive platforms. The geological sciences and geological engineering disciplines are adopting these technologies as volumes of data and physical samples greatly increase. However, a standardized and universally agreed upon workflow and approach have yet to properly be developed. In this thesis, the 3D scanning workflow is presented as a foundation for a virtual geological database. This database provides augmented levels of tangibility to students and researchers who have little to no access to locations that are remote or inaccessible. A Web-GIS platform was utilized jointly with customized widgets developed throughout the course of this research to aid in visualizing hand-sized/meso-scale geological samples within a geologic and geospatial context. This context is provided as a macro-scale GIS interface, where geophysical and geodetic images and data are visualized. Specifically, an interactive interface is developed that allows for simultaneous visualization to improve the understanding of geological trends and relationships. These developed tools will allow for rapid data access and global sharing, and will facilitate comprehension of geological models using multi-scale heterogeneous observations.