Modeling Sand and Gravel using RockWorks2021

Jim Reed’s January webinar covers workflows for evaluating Sand and Gravel resources using 2D grids or 3D solid models.  Even if this isn’t your industry, the webinar gives a great overview of 2D versus 3D models in RockWorks, and of the Playlist, introduced in RockWorks2020.

As Jim discusses in the video, if you have a fairly homogenous deposit, or just don’t have reliable downhole data to analyze, you can do a 2D analysis using grids representing parameters such as overburden and deposit thicknesses and average percentages of coarse and fine material.  The playlist allows you to put together a workflow that creates 2D multi-variate and contour maps, and uses gridding and Boolean logic to determine the optimal locations to put in 200 acre pits.

If you have a more complicated deposit that requires 3D analysis, downhole data can be stored in the Borehole Manager database, and 3D solid models can be created estimating the percent coarse and fine material.  In the example, Jim uses Boolean logic to isolate areas with acceptable overburden thickness and percentages of coarse material, and then does a final filter based on volume. Modeling your data in 3D gives you more flexibility to create depth to target maps, isolate materials based on depth, and even create a first pass at a pit design.

Keep in mind that Lithology, Stratigraphy and other types of downhole data (geophysical data, CPT/HPT data, etc.) can be used for this type of analysis as well. And, as I mentioned, Jim spends some time in this video covering Playlists. If you are a RockWorks2020/2021 user and haven’t looked at this new feature yet, you are missing out! Regardless of the type of data you are working with in RockWorks, Playlists provide a way to create consistent strategies that can be readily passed on to co-workers, or applied to future projects.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at Thanks for reading!

Using PetraSim v2020.2 with TOUGH3

The latest maintenance release of PetraSim v2020 includes small bug fixes and some nice new features that make it easier to use PetraSim in conjunction with TOUGH3, which is the latest version of the TOUGH simulator published by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

  • First, the interface now includes an option to automatically add the “OUTPU” block to the header of the TOUGH3 input file. This directs the simulator to output data in a CSV format that is compatible with PetraSim.
  • Second, the interface now automatically loads the CSV files output by TOUGH3 directly into the 3D results window.

If you are interested in the work flow for using TOUGH3 with PetraSim, take a look at this video that uses the TOUGH3 ECO2M module, which is designed to model the injection of CO2 into the subsurface:

And as always, please feel free to reach out with questions to Thanks for reading!