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 Video Using Multi-Seam Coal Data to Demonstrate RockWare Command Language (RCL) Scripting

New Video: Using the RockWare Command Language (RCL) to Automate Cross-Section Generation

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:

Creating Batch PDF Output for Your LogPlot Logs

If you want to create PDF output of a bunch of logs created with LogPlot7, you can automate this using the Log | Batch Compile menu command. Here are the steps I’ve taken to set this up. NOTE that this requires that you have a PDF program, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, or any of the free PDF printers (PDF995, CutePDF, etc. – see RockWare forum postings regarding these) installed as a printer in your Windows system.

1. First, be sure you’re using a build of LogPlot7 that is or newer.

2. Set up your PDF printer as the default printer in LogPlot, using the program’s File |  Setup command. (On some systems you may also need to set up the PDF printer as default in the Windows Control Panel before launching LogPlot.)

3. You can set up the page size for the printer as well.

LogPlot Page Setup window

Setting up the PDF Printer Page Size

4. Set up the PDF printer driver to NOT prompt for PDF file names, and set the output folder to the same folder where the data files reside. I’ve attached an example of what my Acrobat Professional screen looks like, though your version or your PDF printing software may be different. Note that this is an important step so that you won’t be prompted for each PDF output file name.

PDF Print Settings

PDF Print Settings

5. Then, select the Log | Batch Compile menu option in LogPlot.

6. Click the Add button, and in the Batch Editor window define the name of the data file, the log design, scale, and other compile settings. Be sure Print is selected, and be sure the Save as LPT file is also selected and a name defined. (The PDF file name will be based on the LPT name you define here.)

7. Click OK when you’re done, and you’ll see this log’s items listed in the batch window.

LogPlot Batch Window

LogPlot Batch Window

8. Repeat for additional files, though you might start with just a handful to get the hang of it and to be sure the PDF files are actually being created.

9. Save your batch at some point, using the Save button in the Batch Compile window. At a later date, you can use the Load button in this window to load an already-saved batch listing.

! Note: the BTC file that is created is an ASCII XML-type file. If it is easier for you to modify the BTC file directly to add other logs, you certainly may do so, just be careful about the XML syntax.

10. To run the batch, just click the Go button at the bottom of the Batch Compile window. LogPlot should load the selected DAT file, compile it into the selected LDFX file using the indicated settings, save the requested LPT file, and print to PDF, storing the PDF file in the requested folder.  It will repeat this process for each item listed in the batch.

11. If you want to append all of the PDF’s into a single file, you can use Adobe Acrobat’s File | Combine | Merge Files menu option.

Working with Faulted Surfaces

Here are some suggestions for possible workflows in applying faults to surfaces in RockWorks.  These instructions assume you don’t have the coordinates for your faults already defined in an external spreadsheet or in the RockWorks project database; you can draw the fault lines on a map and then use them to fault a surface.

1. Create your contour map in RockWorks without faulting turned on.

  • Use the Utilities Map | Grid-Based Map if your XYZ data is entered into the Utilities datasheet.
  • Use any of the Borehole Manager contour mapping options (Map | Borehole Locations for ground surface contours, Stratigraphy | Structural Elevations for stratigraphic structure maps, etc.) if your data is entered into the borehole database.
RockWorks Unfaulted Contour Map
Unfaulted structure contour map

2. In the displayed map, use the Draw | Line Types | Polyline to draw a fault polyline on your map.  Double-click to terminate the polyline.  You can repeat this if you have multiple faults.

RockWorks unfaulted contour map with drawn polyline

Unfaulted contour map with drawn polyline

3. Choose the arrow-shaped Edit tool from the RockPlot2D toolbar, and click on the polyline you drew, to select it.  (If selected, you’ll see square icons on the vertices.)  If you have multiple polylines drawn, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard to click on the next polyline to select it as well.  Continue in this manner for as many polylines as you drew so that all are selected.

4. Right-click on any of the selected polylines in the map window and choose Save to Faults Table.

Save Fault Polyline to a "Faults Table"

Save Fault Polyline to a "Faults Table"

Enter a name to assign to the Faults Table and click OK.  This will be saved to the project database.

5. Return to the options along the left side of the map window, and click on the Gridding Options button.  Here, turn on the Faulting option (which is available under Inverse-Distance).  Enter the “distance multiplier” (usually 10) and browse for the name of the Fault Table that you just created.

RockWorks Gridding Options - Faulting settings

Gridding Options - Faulting settings

Click OK to close this window. Click on the Grid Name prompt and enter a new name for the faulted grid model (such as “Potosi_faulted.grd”).

6. Click Process to recreate the grid model and map, now applying faulting.

RockWorks Faulted Contour Map

Faulted Contour Map

Here are three-dimensional views of these surfaces:

RockWorks - Unfaulted Surface in 3D

Unfaulted Surface in 3D

RockWorks - Faulted Surface in 3D

Faulted Surface in 3D

RockWorks applies faulting by creating an interpolation barrier on either side of the polyline(s) – as it’s interpolating a grid node, any control points on the other side of the fault are now considered to be 10 times further away than they actually are, thus having no influence on that node.


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