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How can I grid data with faults in Surfer?

To grid data with faults in Surfer, you need to have an XYZ data file that you want to grid in addition to one BLN file that defines the fault traces. There are many ways to create a BLN file of the fault traces. Please see How can I create a BLN file? and How do I create a BLN file to display multiple polylines?

Be aware that faults can greatly increase the gridding time. We recommend that as few points as possible exist in the fault BLN file, preferably under 100 points. The more points you have in the fault file, the longer it will take to grid the data.  Note that there is not a way to specify direction of movement or amount of displacement along a fault in Surfer, as they aren't specifically geological faults.

Once you have a vector file that defines all the fault traces, you can grid the data with the fault file:

  1. Click Grids | New Grid | Grid Data.
  2. Select your XYZ data file and click Open.
  3. In the Grid Data dialog, select the X, Y and Z data columns.
  4. Choose a gridding method that supports faults (Inverse Distance to a Power, Minimum Curvature, Nearest Neighbor, or Data Metrics). I recommend starting with either Inverse Distance to a Power or Minimum Curvature.
  5. Click the Advanced Options button.
  6. In the Advanced Options dialog, click the Breaklines and Faults tab.
  7. In the File Containing Fault Traces section, click the Change Filename folder icon, select the BLN file created above, and click Open.
  8. Click OK to get back to the Grid Data dialog.
  9. Adjust the other settings as desired and then click OK to create the grid file. The grid file will contain the fault data and you can use it to create maps in Surfer.

Note that any post processing of the grid file (e.g. using Grids | Resize | Mosaic or Grids | Edit | Blank) will remove the fault information from the grid file.

Updated January 18, 2017

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