GEOL40670 3D mapping and modelling I

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will provide students with an opportunity to develop their modelling skills through learning and using state-of-the-art software and building structural-stratigraphic models. The key stages of model building will be covered including loading, quality checking of common geological data (e.g., seismic, well and drillhole data), 3D geological interpretation, depth conversion, structural framework modelling through to construction of gridded and implicit models. As part of this module students will receive training in industry standard software packages (ESRI’s ArcPro, Schlumberger’s Petrel Platform and Seequent’s Leapfrog) for visualising and organising geographical data, 3D visualisation of subsurface data, seismic interpretation, horizon mapping and construction of 3D static models using well and seismic data. The software and modelling skills learned in this module will be applied in other modules and projects during the MSc course.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module students should have:
1. A working knowledge of ArcGIS, Petrel and Leapfrog software in order to view and interpret surface and subsurface data.
2. The ability to build a structural-stratigraphic model based on integration and interpretation of a variety of types of subsurface data.

Indicative Module Content:

Practicals 1-3: GIS training.
The first practicals of this module provide an introduction to ArcGIS Pro and the fundamentals of GIS software. These introductory practicals are designed as an introduction or refresher for the use of ArcGIS Pro software and digital data management, skills that will be used in numerous modules throughout the course.

Practicals 4-13: Petrel modelling project.
Building of a structural framework model for a reservoir interval based on 3D seismic and well data as may be required for a range of applied subsurface industry projects. The project will involve mapping faults and seismic horizons to produce a consistent stratigraphic and structural model that honours the data. The structural framework model will then be used to create a gridded model in order to compute gross rock volume and fluid volumes. The key modelling uncertainties will be considered.

Practicals 14-22: Leapfrog modelling project
Building of a structural-stratigraphic model within a sedimentary basin with magmatic-volcanic elements, based on drillhole and geological mapping data. This will involve QA/QC of different types of data, and the combining, compositing, and processing of drillhole log databases. These data will be used to explore different horizon and volume modelling strategies and to create 3D interpretations of structural and stratigraphic elements. Ultimately these elements will be used to build a 3D structural-stratigraphic model, using both explicit and implicit modelling techniques. The basics of visualisation and interrogation of volumetric cell-based data (e.g. mineral resource estimates, block models) will be explored, as well as spatial querying of property data, such as geochemical assays.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The key teaching and learning approaches used in this module include practicals involving active/task-based learning, peer and group work and industry style project reports. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Class assignments will be assessed variously by submitted exercise work, oral presentations, work diaries, written short reports, viva voce and student engagement. Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided during practical and computer classes to individuals and to the group after exercises have been completed. Individual may request additional feedback for their work.

Name Role
Dr Kara English Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Eoghan Holohan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sam Kelley Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Tom Manzocchi Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Julian Menuge Lecturer / Co-Lecturer