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How can I create a map inside an irregular boundary in Surfer?

 

You can create a grid file (and hence map) with data only inside a particular outline (ie. building, lake boundary, mine boundary, etc) by saving the boundary outline to a BLN file (BLN flag=0) and then either using the BLN file as a blanking file, using it as a fault file when gridding, or using it as a breakline file and then a blanking file.

 

1. Assign a NoData value to grid nodes outside the outline

Create a BLN, SHP, DXF, or other vector boundary file defining the boundary you want the data limited to, and blank the grid file outside the boundaries defined in the vector file.

  1. Click Grids | New Grid | Grid Data, select your data file and click Open. Grid your data using your regular gridding method (it will create the rectangular grid).
  2. Click Grids | Edit | Blank.
  3. Click Browse in the Input Grid section, select the grid file, and click Open.
  4. Click Browse in the Blanking Polygon Boundary section, select the vector file, and click Open.
  5. Toggle Blank Outside.
  6. Enter a name to save the new grid file as and click Save.
  7. Create the map from this new blanked grid file.

 

2. Use a fault file to define your outline.

Create a BLN boundary file that defines the outline you want and use the BLN file as a fault file during gridding.

  1. Click Grids | New Grid | Grid Data, select your data file and click Open
  2. In the Grid Data dialog, select a gridding method that supports faults. Only some gridding methods support faults (Inverse Distance to a Power, Minimum Curvature, Nearest Neighbor, and Data Metrics). Kriging does not support faults, but Minimum Curvature creates a result that is very similar to Kriging.
  3. Click on the Advanced Options button.
  4. Click the Breaklines and Faults tab.
  5. Click the Change Filename folder icon under File Containing Fault Traces.
  6. Specify the BLN and click Open.
  7. Click OK and OK to create the grid file.
  8. Create the map from this grid file.

 

3. Use a breakline file and also blank the grid

This is most useful when trying to create bathymetry contours for a lake or other closed area. Create a BLN boundary file defining the outline of your data limits (ie. the lake edge), including a third column of Z values in the BLN file for the breakline (for a lake, this could be 0 for the lake edge).

  1. Click Grids | New Grid | Grid Data, select your data file and click Open.
  2. In the Grid Data dialog, select the Kriging gridding method.
  3. Click the Advanced Options button.
  4. Click the Breaklines tab.
  5. Click the Change Filename folder icon under File Containing Breaklines.
  6. Specify the BLN and click Open.
  7. Click OK and OK to create the grid file.
  8. Click Grids | Edit | Blank.
  9. Click Browse in the Input Grid section, select the grid file, and click Open.
  10. Click Browse in the Blanking Polygon Boundary section, select the BLN file, and click Open.
  11. Toggle Blank Outside.
  12. Enter a name to save the new grid file as and click Save.
  13. Create the map form this new blanked grid file.

 

You might want to create the BLN file and try each of the above methods to see which results best suit your needs.

 

See Also:

How can I create a BLN file in Surfer?

How can I grid only the area inside my data limits using Surfer?

How can I calculate the volume or area inside an irregular polygon in Surfer?

 

Updated January 19, 2017

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