3D geomodelling combining implicit surfaces and Voronoi-based remeshing: a case study in the Lorraine Coal Basin (France)

Pauline Collon, Wendy Steckiewicz-Laurent, Jeanne Pellerin, Gautier Laurent, Guillaume Caumon, Guillaume Reichart, Laurent Vaute

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37 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we demonstrate how recent geomodelling techniques can be combined and used to build a 3D geological model on a real case study: the former coal mine of Merlebach (France), that is targeted to be exploited for low-temperature geothermal energy production. From geological maps, cross-sections, borehole and mine exploitation data, we build a 3D model in which are identified the rocks and infrastructures having significantly different permeabilities. First, a structural model of the main geological interfaces in our area of interest (2 horizons and 13 faults) is built with classical geomodelling techniques. Then, we propose to model by surfaces the 71 irregularly stacked, very close and very thin, sub-vertical coal beds. To ease their construction, we use an implicit method which represents 3D surfaces as isovalues of a scalar field defined in a 3D tetrahedral grid of the area. The corresponding triangulated surfaces are remeshed with a recently proposed method based on Voronoi diagrams so that the exploited parts of the coal beds, now filled by sand, can be computed. The 3D surface-based geological model, in which infrastructures can be inserted as piecewise lines, can be volumetrically meshed. It is available for download as supplemental material, as well as a volumetric grid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • 3D surface-based model
  • Geomodelling
  • Geothermics
  • Implicit modelling
  • Post-mining
  • Surface remeshing

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