Category: Geology

When time is your enemy, you need your software on your side

By Seequent Product Manager PJ Hollenbeck

All projects have their challenges, but those with a fast turnaround have a special set of problems and pressures.

A succession of accelerated construction deadlines may call for rapid iteration of geological models to meet the shrinking timelines. You might need to develop multiple hypotheses from the data you have, often in a very short space of time.

That would be ok if the software you were using was built from the ground-up specifically with geologic modelling in mind, but often it isn’t. Instead, you may be relying on tools co-opted from another industry or discipline and not intended for the ‘artform’ of geological modelling. Not only will that tend to make the initial modeling process slow and difficult, but when new data comes in – as it frequently will – it could take days, even weeks to update the model. Meanwhile, the project is already underway and costing money.

3D model

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New Zealand: the shaky isles

By Sam Bain

New Zealand has a lot of earthquakes. Many of you will have heard of the recent deadly Christchurch earthquake sequence. Some of you may know about the relatively large earthquake sequence that occurred near Seddon, a small town to the south of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, in 2013. Perhaps those strange types out there with a passion for seismology might have noticed the relatively common occurrence of medium to large earthquakes near New Zealand on the USGS earthquake map. They might not realise that in a typical month New Zealand experiences approx. 3000 earthquakes (I am cheating a bit here as around one third of these are too small to be felt). On average, New Zealanders felt 414 earthquakes larger than magnitude 4 each year from 1960 to 2011.

New Zealand Earthquake Map

Map showing earthquakes throughout New Zealand over the last year. The categorisation by colour refers to the intensity of the shaking experienced from the earthquakes. The shaking intensity is largely controlled by the earthquake magnitude and location relative to the person being shaken (especially depth). For clarity, the huge number of weak earthquakes have not been shown. Image from GNS Science Geonet website .

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New Zealand geology: a brief overview

By Sam Bain

When geologists visit the Leapfrog offices they often end up chatting with our geo’s about the spectacular geology that can be found here in New Zealand. We can usually recommend some interesting outcrops to visit when travelling our country. Today I thought I would try to give an overview of this geology. Given the tectonic complexity of this area, it will be a very simplified description but hopefully it will provide a starting point for those who are interested. In the long term I hope to look in more detail at some specific sites.

New Zealand is a section of Zealandia, a much larger submerged continental landmass. Zealandia extends a significant distance east into the Pacific Ocean and south towards Antarctica. It also extends towards Australia in the north-west. This submerged continent is dotted with topographic highs that sometimes form islands. Some of these, such as the main islands (North and South), Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands, are settled. Other smaller islands are eco-sanctuaries with carefully controlled access.

The submerged landmass of Zealandia

The submerged landmass of Zealandia

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The risk of megathrust generated tsunamis

By Sam Bain

Natural disasters are often staggering in their scale, but few can compare to the shocking extent of damage and life loss resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis.

We have all seen the horrifying images and videos from these events. The spread of mobile phones with reasonable quality cameras means that within hours of a disaster images begin to appear on the net. For me, there is one video in particular which captures the terrifying raw power unleashed by these disasters. It was captured from on top of a solid building and shows the rapid speed and destructiveness of the tsunami. It also clearly demonstrates the huge amount of displaced water that is involved.

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What is happening with Mining and Geo

By Richard Lane

Leapfrog Geo was introduced in response to a number of requests from users to have a tool that could be integrated more easily in a standard work environment and manage the level of complexity they were encountering in their models. This led to a new interface that helped organise the models in Leapfrog Geo in a more structured way.

We now have received a considerable amount of feedback on how Leapfrog Geo compares to Leapfrog Mining. It has been very informative from our perspective because it has clearly illustrated the very wide variety of uses and tasks that Leapfrog Mining has been used for.

The principal difference between the two products is that Leapfrog Mining is a toolbox, which contains a significant number of powerful tools. Leapfrog Geo is designed to do certain workflows and it does these very efficiently. For users whose principal tasks are these workflows it is the obvious choice, and a significant number of users have indicated their preference by switching to Leapfrog Geo.

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Kickoff for the new Leapfrog blog

By Shaun Maloney

Shaun Maloney CEO ARANZ Geo Limited

Welcome to Leapfrog’s blog

I‘m fortunate to be asked to write the first Leapfrog blog and to set the scene for what we hope will be many thought-provoking blogs to come. No pressure then! Seriously though, we want this blog spot to open up a dialogue between anyone interested in geology and geological modelling in particular. So if that’s you, please get involved, we’re interested in what you have to say!

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