Discontinuity Surface

You need to annotate and model large wavy discontinuities?
Then you will like this feature in the ShapeMetriX software.
1. Use the semi-automatic mode for trace detection to follow the linear feature
2. Start the fully automatical calculation of the discontinuity surface
3. Specify extension

Export discontinuity surfaces for your slope stability analysis in Slide3.

Seamless data integration into Dips

The brand new ShapeMetriX export makes the seamless data integration to Dips possible and opens new possibilities for a comprehensive geological and geotechnical assessment.  Use the semi-automatic mapping features from the Analyst software and combine it with the stereographic projections and kinematic analysis provided by Dips. The synergy between these two cutting-edge solutions has already started.


The Commander reduces costs and carbon emissions


Applications Overview


Precision blast in a quarry – The Powhatan Water Tower Shot

The use of precision surveying, and advanced blast design software contributed to a highly successful close proximity blast in a quarry, where infrastructure was found in the immediate vicinity. A water tower was located only 30 m away from the bench face and a crusher was only slightly farther away.

Based on a comprehensive three-dimensional survey of the blast site by means of a detailed photogrammetric 3D model from drone imagery, the blast was designed for control. Boreholes were inclined and relocated according to geological conditions and varied burdens. The use of electronic detonators enabled controlled timing to get uniformed breakage at the critical side of the bench face.

The shot was completely controlled without any collateral damage while simultaneously getting fragmentation of the muck pile as intended.

The ShapeMetriX – IDS IBIS interaction

The seamless data integration between ground based radar stations from IDS and 3GSM’s ShapeMetriX software enables two important applications for slope stability monitoring in mining:

  • the display of major rock mass structures that may lead to potential failure areas within the 24/7 monitoring software Guardian
  • the detailed analysis of the area where failures occurred

Resulting structures and 3D models also fit into software from Rocscience, e.g. for LE analyses.

Tunnel mapping

ShapeMetriX is also used underground, e.g. for tunnel face mapping. From the early beginnings with pure interactive characterization of discontinuity traces and discontinuity areas some algorithmic support has also found its way into these applications. The combination of the automatic analysis of planar patches on the tunnel face and the semi-automatic mapping of linear features leads to a rather quick and complete mapping of the situation.

Of course, there is still the need for adding those phenomena that cannot be mapped from 3D models (e.g. water ingress, texture of infillings etc.) and we want to have the geologist’s expertise to accept what the automatism suggests.


The ShapeMetriX software provides comprehensive mapping capabilities and is regularly applied in tunnelling and underground mining. One feature visualizes the evenness of the tunnel/working face either by depth colouring or by contour lines, or both together.

In addition to providing a nice visualization, this was important on a project where the tunnel face had to be sealed after each blast due to stability reasons.

The surface area of the uneven tunnel face obviously is larger than an ideal flat one. Depending on the actual planarity, the difference can quickly be around 30%. Since the amount of required shotcrete is directly related to the planarity, this can become relevant.

This software feature helped to sort out some discussions that came up on the job site.


Cumba Slope Failure: A Technical Review


This paper gives insight to the investigation of a 70-meter high failure in an open pit after mining of a trim blast at the base of the wall. The investigation and technical review utilizes and integrates all available data to improve the geotechnical model, inclusive of key geological inputs, major structure, rock mass constitutive models and groundwater. Data from aerial photogrammetry and ground-based synthetic aperture radar data are used in conjunction with three-dimensional limit equilibrium analysis techniques to develop realistic simulations of ground behavior that are qualitatively and semi-quantitatively.

A multidisciplinary collaboration between: Barrick, Rocscience, IDS, Gecko Geotechnics, and 3GSM.

Paper here


Including geological structures into blast design

3GSM’s semi-automatic rock mass characterization tools does not only save time in the mapping process it also increases the accuracy of the determined discontinuities in terms of their spatial location, orientation, and extension.

Main structures now import directly into the blast design tool revealing intersections of the structures and boreholes in a straightforward and clear manner.

Mud seams or weak zones project back into the rock mass and their pose is taken into account when loading the holes.

We like bringing our developments together and combining two applications. We hope you like that, too.



Automatic assignment of volumes to boreholes

Sometimes blast sites get irregular in terms of spacing / burden. Usual approaches for estimating the volume that a single hole blasts no longer apply. A geometric algorithm based on the opening angle of a single hole is used to assign volumes to boreholes also for highly complex blast sites. It takes into account the actual burden situation and the 3D shape of the free face(s) as well as different borehole inclinations and azimuths.

The proper volume per borehole supports loading the hole while keeping track of fragmentation, fly-rock, and amount of fines.

The algorithm can also relocate the boreholes in a way that all holes get the same volume to blast associated, if that is wanted.

Video: Volume_Borehole.mp4

Semiautomatic mapping

Official recognition

Our last year’s summer intern Johanna received a nice recognition from Austria’s Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler for her excellent work performed at 3GSM.

She worked on processing detailed 3D models and did 3D fragmentation analyses for the decabonization of quarry blasts.

Among other, the prize included a travel voucher from Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB that will bring her to Paris soon!

Congratulations Johanna – you rock!

Thanks to @Miriam and the @3GSM team for their support.


#blastmetrix #frgamentationanalysis #decarbonization

Nice detail in Graz

When strolling through the beautiful old town of Graz, one of our development engineers tried out his newly refurbed mobile and fed it into the software where he is working on. 3D models from general sources such mobile phones are becoming more and more viable for real-world application.

#shapemetrix  #blastmetrix