How To Export Diagrams From RockWorks16 Into Google Earth

Two new videos showing how to export diagrams from RockWorks16 into Google Earth have been uploaded to YouTube.  The short version is 2 minutes and skips all of the “how-it-works” information.  The long version is 12 minutes and provides a description of what goes on “behind the scenes”.

Please note that these videos do not cover the EarthApps portion of RockWorks which directly exports to Google Earth.  Instead, these videos show how to export existing 2-D diagrams (maps, profiles and sections) from RockPlot2D and 3-D diagrams (logs and block models) from RockPlot3D into Google Earth.

Short Version:

Extended Version:


Examples of Non-English Text Output Provided by RockWorks16’s Unicode Support


New Version of RockWorks16 (2013.8.8) Available

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Master Directory of RockWare YouTube Videos

The YouTube playlists have proven to be somewhat cumbersome, so we have created a hyper-linked master index that makes it easier to find content.  Check it out …


RockWare YouTube Video Index URL:

Layering Profiles and Cross-Sections in RockWorks

RockWorks allows you to create cross-section and profile diagrams of a variety of types of data – such as modeled lithology, stratigraphy, aquifer, geochemical or geophysical data, fractures, etc.  It can be very helpful to layer these profiles to determine, for example, the spatial relationship between a contaminant hotspot and the stratigraphic layers, or your water levels and the lithologic environment.

I’ll describe here an easy way to pop one profile onto another – in this example overlaying a benzene profile on top of a stratigraphy profile.

1. Create your two profile diagrams using the same annotation settings and the same profile slice.  This assures that the profile panels will have the same coordinate range.  I find it helpful to arrange the two profile windows on my screen, one above the other, so that they are both accessible.

RockWorks I-Data Profile and Stratigraphy Profile Diagrams

Arrange both profiles on your screen so they're both visible.

2. With the RockPlot Edit Arrow tool activated, click on the I-Data profile contours to select them. (Note the red selection handles in the panel corners in the upper image.) Type Ctrl+C to copy this layer into memory.

Select and Copy the I-Data Profile

Click on the I-Data profile color contours to select that layer, and copy it to the clipboard.

3. Click in the Stratigraphy profile window and type Ctrl+V to paste the I-Data profile into this diagram.

Paste the I-Data panel onto the Stratigraphy profile

Paste the I-Data panel onto the Stratigraphy profile

4. Double-click on the I-Data layer you just pasted into the combined diagram to adjust the minimum contour level and transparency, so that the stratigraphic layers will be visible in the background.

Adjust the I-Data Profile Settings

Adjust the minimum contour level and/or transparency.

5. Click OK to close the Colorfill Attributes window.

I-Data Profile Contours Overlaying Stratigraphy Layers

Now you can see the stratigraphic profile in the background.

6. If you like, you can copy /paste the I-Data color legend in to the combined diagram.  Use your mouse to resize/rearrange the legends as desired.

Combined Stratigraphy and Benzene Profiles

Combined Stratigraphy and Benzene Profiles

Exporting Lithologic Surfaces to DXF

As RockWorks view the world, lithology materials are not necessarily layered – they can repeat within a single borehole and may be inconsistent in sequence across the project area. As such, RockWorks uses a solid modeling process, rather than surface-modeling, to create lithology models, with the 3D nodes or voxels assigned a material type and represented in the 3D viewer as color-coded blocks.

RockWorks software: Lithology Model in RockPlot3D

Lithology Model in RockPlot3D

This presents a challenge, then, for users who wish to view lithologic SURFACES as plan-view contour maps, or in 3D, or exported to CAD.

In RockPlot3D you can access the lithology model’s Options window and filter the display for the desired material type, or range of types. Here is the above model filtered to display the Soil voxels only.

RockWorks software: Lithology Model Filtered for Soil Only

Lithology Model Filtered for Soil Only

This can be exported to DXF, but note that you’ll be getting all of the blocks representing that material. (Shown here in black and white for contrast purposes.)

RockWorks software: Lithology Model Soil Voxels Exported to DXF

Lithology Model Soil Voxels Exported to DXF

If you need a surface rather than blocks, RockWorks also has tools which will fit a surface to the uppermost elevations or the lowermost elevations of a rock type in a lithology model. These are in the Lithology | Superface (Top) and Subface (Base) menus. Here is an example of the same soil lithotype extracted as a surface (upper elevations), and displayed in RockPlot3D and then exported to DXF.

RockWare software: Surface Representing Top of Soil

Surface Representing Top of Soil, Displayed in RockPlot3D

RockWare software: DXF Surface Representing Top of Soil

DXF Surface Representing Top of Soil

Welcome to the RockWare Blog

In this space we’ll be posting occasional user tips, news, and information relating to RockWare, Inc., the Earth Science Software Company in Golden, Colorado, USA.  We welcome your comments and invite you to stay tuned.

We hope you will find this new resource useful. Thank you for your interest in the Rockware, Inc. Blog.

Kind Regards,
The RockWare Team