Williston Basin 3D Geological Model

The TGI Williston Basin 3D Geological model is based on a database of unit tops picked by geologists from selected drillholes penetrating the majority of the post-Precambrian stratigraphy and mapped unit edges derived from legacy mapping and drillhole intercepts. On average, five wells per township were selected from areas with sufficient drillhole density. The 3D surfaces were constructed using these picked tops from a total of 9012 wells, which includes 5046 wells from Saskatchewan, 2606 wells from Manitoba, and to reduce edge-effects 771 wells from North Dakota and 589 from Montana. Of the 60 geological units in the TGI Williston Basin project, 42 were selected and modeled. The model was produced using Gocad earth modeling software.

This model is entirely data driven with minimal human interpretation. Many fringe areas have a low data density, especially those areas close to unit edges. Because of this shortcoming, the expression of the unit edge (ie. escarpments) isn’t always accurately predicted.

The TGI team was dedicated to maintaining accuracy and consistency in the picks and modeled information presented, however due to the size of the project, some errors may have been made. The TGI team is not liable for these errors. The user of this information accepts all responsibility for any work done on their part that uses all or part of this data.

Data Available for Download

- AVI movie depicting the 42 modeled units in the TGI 3D model slowly being added from Precambrian to Quaternary. Each unit is labeled with formation and member (also available as animated gif)

- PPS PowerPoint presentation

- Geocando (Free 3D model viewer)

   - Allows viewing and manipulation of 3D Gocad objects (surfaces etc)
   - The free Geocando software is available here:

- Gocad objects for each of the modeled units (surfaces)

  Instructions for use (PDF)

  Download zip file (34 MB)

   This Geocando project in the zip file includes:

   - 42 modeled surfaces from Precambrian to rock surface
   - SRTM DEM ground surface
   - Original data pointsets used as the basis for model creation
   - Cultural data in the form of borders and roads
   - Readme file explaining how to install and use the included data
   - This zip file must be unzipped to the root of C:/ in order for the Geocando project to function correctly

* To properly view the Gocad objects, the Geocando software must be downloaded and installed first.

3D Model images

(click images for higher resolution)

Top down view – all modeled units (Precambrian to Cretaceous Belly River Formation):

Oblique view – all modeled units (Precambrian to Cretaceous Belly River Formation):

Top down view with provincial/state boundaries:

Oblique view with provincial/state boundaries:

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