Computer aided geological design: AutoCAD® applications in structural geology
The three-dimensional (3D) modeling environment of AutoCAD is used to represent and solve problems of structural geology. As an alternative to bi-dimensional (2D) techniques of classical structural analysis, the 3D capabilities of the software are used for modeling, positioning and measuring geological structures. To introduce the proposed method, two practical examples are presented as exercises with detailed instructions. The technique consists in precisely representing the geometrical entities that comprise the geological problem within three-dimensional space to enable the direct measurement of structural parameters. Accurate results, such as fault displacement and the attitude of several structures, are obtained with the dimension tools of the program, so no calculations are required. Diverse 3D viewing perspectives can be adopted to enhance the comprehension of the analyzed situation.
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