How can I create a 3d model in Surfer from a picked contour in multiple 2D profiles?

If you have multiple SRF files of 2D profiles using an arbitrary x distance, you know the UTM x,y coordinates of the ends of the profile, and you want to create a surface of a certain z contour from the profiles, you can use the following workflow to accomplish this.

  1. Open the attached profiles_to_surface.xlsx file in Excel, and enter the x and y UTM values for the ends of the first profile into cells B2 through B5.
  2. Enter the min and max x values from the profile into the Excel file:
    1. In Surfer, open the SRF for the first profile line.
    2. Click on the Map in the Contents window.
    3. Click on the Limits tab in the Properties window.
    4. Copy the xMin value into cell B6 in the attached Excel file.
    5. Copy the xMax value into cell B7 in the attached Excel file.
  3. Turn off everything except the one desired contour:
    1. In Surfer, uncheck the boxes next to everything except the Map and the Contours layer in the Contents window.
    2. Select the Contours layer in the Contents window.
    3. On the Levels page in the Properties window, click the Edit Levels button.
    4. Select each level EXCEPT the desired level and click Delete.
    5. If there's a Yes in the Label column, double click it to change it to a No.
    6. Double click the fill in the Fill column, change the Fill Pattern to None, and click OK.
    7. Click OK
  4. Export the desired contour as a DAT: 
    1. Still in Surfer, click File | Export.
    2. Change the Save as type to DAT XYZ points, give your file a name, and click Save.
    3. In the Export Options dialog, on the Scaling page, change the Scaling source to  Map: Contours-<grid file>.
    4. On the XYZ Options page, uncheck Write Z (elevation) column, and click OK.
  5. Open an empty worksheet and copy/paste the 'y' value from the exported DAT into the 'z' column in this new file: 
    1. Click File | Open.
    2. Select the DAT you just exported, and click Open.
    3. Copy Column B.
    4. Click File | New | Worksheet.
    5. Paste into Column C in the new worksheet.
    6. Click File | Save As.
    7. Give your file a name, change Save as type to XLSX Excel 2007 Spreadsheet, and click Save.
  6. Use the attached Excel file to calculate the adjusted x values of the points exported to the DAT:
    1. Click back to the DAT in Surfer's worksheet. 
    2. Copy Column A.
    3. Paste this into cell A14 in the attached Excel file.
    4. Click in cell B14, then double click the square in the lower right corner to copy the equation down the column.
    5. Click in cell C14, then double click the square in the lower right corner to copy the equation down the column.
  7. Copy/paste the X and Y values from these last two steps into the XLSX:
    1. Copy/paste cells B14 through the end of column C into cell A1 in the XLSX in Surfer's worksheet.
    2. Press CTRL+S to save the file.
  8. Repeat these steps for the other line, adding the Z, X, and Y values to the most-recently-saved DAT:
    1. Repeat steps 1-5c for the other profile line(s).
    2. Click to the Surfer worksheet containing the XLSX.
    3. Paste into the first EMPTY row in Column C.
    4. Repeat step 6.
    5. Copy/paste cells B14 through the end of column C into the first EMPTY row in Column A in the XLSX.
    6. Press CTRL+S to save the file.
  9. Grid the final XLSX:
    1. In Surfer, click Home | Grid Data | Grid Data
    2. In the Open Data dialog, select the XLSX file from the Open worksheets list and click Open.
    3. Set your desired gridding parameters and click OK.
    4. Click OK in the Surfer dialog telling you the grid has been created.
  10. Create the map:
    1. Click File | New | Plot Document.
    2. Click Home | New Map | Contour or Home | New Map | 3D Maps | Surface.
    3. In the Open Grid dialog, select your GRD file and click Open.


Updated June 25, 2018 

Was this article helpful?
2 out of 2 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.