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3D breaklines


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    Kari Dickenson


    The Digitize command is not supported on a 3D map. You can only digitize a 2D map. However, you can create a 2D contour map and digitize that map and the digitized coordinates will have the Z value of the digitized location. For example:

    1. Click Map | New | Contour Map, select the grid file and click Open. The contours are created.
    2. Right click over the map and click Digitize.
    3. Click on the map. The Digitized Coordinates window will appear with the X, Y and Z coordinates of the location you clicked. If you do not see the Z coordinate value, in the Digitized Coordinates window, click the Options menu and make sure Include Z coordinate is checked (click it if it is not checked). If you do not see this option there, then you are using an older version of Surfer. I recommend upgrading for this feature.
    4. Continue digitizing the XYZ coordinates for your breakline.
    5. When finished, click File | Save in the Digitized Coordinates window to save the results to a BLN file.


    If you are using an older version of Surfer without the feature to digitize the Z value, or you are looking for other options, there are two other alternatives to getting the Z value in the BLN file:

    • You can simply add the Z values yourself in the worksheet. After you create the entire XY BLN file, then click File | Open and open the BLN file in the Surfer worksheet. Add the Z values for each point in the BLN file in Column C, then click File | Save and File | Close.
    • You can add the Z value yourself when digitizing. For example, If you digitize the XY's, then after the XY coordinates are written to the Digitized Coordinates window, you can simply click in that window, add a comma and the Z value directly to the XY values you just digitized. Continue for each point you digitize.


    When you grid a data set with a breakline file, it tells Surfer there is a break in the slope along that line. So this could be at the base of a cliff where there is a flatish slope on one side of the line, and a steep slope on the other side of the line. This could be the sides of a channel, but it's not going to create a lens or pinchout (where there is no data outside the line). You might be able to use a fault for this, or you could blank the grid outside the boundary after the grid is created using the Grid | Blank command.



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