For geologists, hydrogeologists, geostatistics, petroleum engineers, and other related professionals the choice for 3D geological modeling software was related to expensive and restrictive software that was in fact a “de facto” choice in several companies and institutions.
Although it is a choice of any company or professional to select the software anyone will use to model the geological units, a great gap subsides (using a geological term) on the use of this expensive software. If the software is expensive, how expensive will it be to get trained on this software? If few people have skills with certain software, how easy would it be to change to another software? How people can assess the quality of one software if they have no full capability on managing several softwares. As you have seen, restrictions on the licenses lead to these subsiding gaps, faults on quality, and an intrusion of professional ignorance.
The Gempy case
As Python lovers, sometime ago we considered the Gempy library as an alternative to geological modeling that can do everything we love to do in geological modeling as a Python code. The concept was great but the serious incompatibilities with Jupyter Lab and the extremely difficult process to install the library in Windows led us to forget about the project.
Two free options
Despite the fact of our defeat in having a solution for geological modeling with Gempy, we kept on the search for new tools for geological modeling and successfully we found two open options that we will list on this article.
Loop is an open source 3D probabilistic geological and geophysical modelling platform. It works on Windows and Linux and requires no installation, just to run some .bat files. The software offers two choices of geological modeling meaning structural modeling and geophysical modeling and offers 3D visualization of the geological models with an powerful access to the Python code that actually creates the geological model making it easier to customize and apply for other cases or further data analysis.
The project relies on a Python library called LoopStructural and Gempy has some appearance although we are not sure what exactly does what.
Loop structural library documentation: https://loop3d.github.io/LoopStructural/
A swiss software that is web based and has no licences or limitations maybe because they haven’t figured out how to charge for its use. The software can work with drillhole and cross sections, create awesome 3D visualizations and couples groundwater features. The software was designed to visualize karstic systems but it can be well used for geological structural modeling and we hope further work about its integration with other libraries and options for data export.
Editors note: As the article title says, you should about the existence of these libraries, as we should about it since we haven´t actually done any geological model with these. However, future webinars and tutorials on this packages will come.