Digital field mapping and modelling: using emerging technologies to reduce uncertainty in geological models

26th - 30th March 2018 - University of Birmingham


The aim of this course is to enable geosciences graduates to adapt their skills to emerging technologies in electronic/digital field data collection and model building. The focus of the training is on the building, iteration and validation of a subsurface geological model with an emphasis on the use of an accessible and dynamic professional software suite; Fieldmove app for tablets, Fieldmove Clino for smartphones and the Move software suite, the principal product of training partner Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. The training and resultant skills will be transferrable to a variety of industry software packages such as Petrel, Decision Space, Kingdom Suite, Gocad, Minesight, Leapfrog, Geomodeller3D, SGS Genesis, Rockworks and others. Training will appeal to doctoral and early career researchers across a range of geosciences as advanced modelling of the subsurface is fundamental in exploring for mineral and energy resources as well as identifying suitable carbon capture and storage sites, potential geothermal reservoirs and systems, underground storage and waste repositories, groundwater, and tunnelling and infrastructure projects. Participants will receive advanced field and lab training focused on 3D structural modelling of the subsurface using a cutting edge professional software package developed for the energy and resource exploration industry.

The course is 5 days long and there are 20 funded places. Funding includes field and lab training by Midland Valley and a contribution of up to £300 to travel and subsistence. Preference is given to NERC funded students for these places. However Post Docs and Non-NERC funded students are also encouraged to apply.

Some iPads are available to lend, but participants are encouraged to bring their own devices.
Training will be conducted by Midland Valley experts and hosted at the University of Birmingham, UK, with a field trip to the Wren’s Nest Nature reserve, Dudley.


Course outline

Day 1: Pre field
Introduction to Move training

Understanding uncertainty and risk in geological modelling

Introduction to working with Move

Model building using maps and sections

Importing and exporting data

Digital mapping workflows


Day 2: Field mapping with mobile devices
Introduction to field area – Wrens Nest, Dudley: Stratotype for the Silurian and a world class section through the Much Wenlock Limestone formation. The industrial heritage of this site is part of bid for UNESCO World Heritage status for the Black Country Geopark and exposures in quarries and mines were central to the development of the steel industry and the birth of the industrial revolution. Structurally, the area is comprised of a periclinal antiform with good bedding exposure providing an excellent analogue for structural traps.
Most of day 2 will be spent mapping the antiform and faults around the Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve.


Day 3: Processing field data and model building
Constrained model building in 2D and 3D

Updating models in real-time

Importing FieldMove data into Move

Model building from field data

Attribute creation and visualisation


Day 4: Development of geological models
Validation thechniques to improve geological models

Block restoration and jigsaw fit

Sequential restoration

Forward modelling


Day 5: Advanced analysis of Geological models
Curvature analysis and geomechanical Modelling

Stress analysis

Fault Response modelling simulation

Fracture Modelling

Fault analysis


How to apply

Applications are now open, please complete the relevant application form and send this to The closing date for applications is 31st January 2018.