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The surface trace tool — Modeling complex planar interactions using ArcGIS

February 12, 2020

The surface trace tool comprises a Python script written for ArcGIS that will determine the line of intersection between a planar feature and a surface. Specifically, this tool was designed for geologic applications where geologic planar-feature orientations are reported as strike and dip, and the intersecting surface is the ground. The tool output will show how planar geologic layers intersect with topography.

Determining where geologic features crop out on the surface can be used to guide new geologic mapping as well as reviewing existing geologic mapping. This tool was developed to aid in more efficient mapping of an unknown area. These unknown areas may be missing data, either owing to a lack of suitable outcrops or being difficult to traverse, and data about the areas may be extrapolated using this tool and surrounding data to determine where planar features might appear on the ground.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title The surface trace tool — Modeling complex planar interactions using ArcGIS
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191136
Authors Drew B. Adams, Heather L. Parks
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1136
Index ID ofr20191136
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center