Virtual fieldtrips for petroleum geoscientists

K. J.W. McCaffrey*, D. Hodgetts, J. Howell, D. Hunt, J. Imber, R. R. Jones, M. Tomasso, J. Thurmond, S. Viseur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

24 Citations (Scopus)


Significant advances in geosciences data acquisition, visualization and analysis now allow highly detailed outcrop models to be constructed for a range of petroleum industry purposes. From a given field locality, a virtual outcrop is created from a centimetre-scale digital elevation model and colour photographs with geological information overlaid as appropriate. In a visualization environment, these datasets can be viewed sequentially to simulate undertaking a fieldtrip. These virtual fieldtrips allow geoscientists to improve and expand the traditional fieldwork experience in a number of ways, ranging from planning and health and safety considerations for management, to providing live supplemental technical content on a mobile device to the fieldtrip participant. The fieldtrips are easily archived and content can be reviewed in the office to provide analogue information during technical work. Examples of virtual fieldtrips are provided on the DVD that accompanies this volume.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeological Society, London, Petroleum Geology Conference series
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Publication series

NamePetroleum Geology Conference Proceedings
PublisherGeological Society of London
ISSN (Print)2047-9921

Bibliographical note

The authors thank Tony Reynolds for reviewing an earlier draft of this paper. Production of the video clips on the DVD was sponsored by Statoil. K. J. W. McCaffrey acknowledges receipt of a Royal Society Industry Fellowship.


  • Analogue model
  • Fieldwork
  • Laser scanning
  • Lidar
  • Virtual outcrops


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