Contour generation from output volume

Is there any way we can generate contour from output volume? I am working to develop depth to til and depth to bedrock map from the model and later on, I want to generate a contour map from this one so that further analysis can be done in ArcGIS.

Best Answer

  • MichaelBlakely
    MichaelBlakely Posts: 3
    edited January 2022 Answer ✓
    Hi Sujan,
    There is probably a few ways you can achieve this. Thickness of any unit can be extracted in one step using the Export Thickness Grid. Thickness of top-most unit is equivalent to depth. For units deeper in the sequence, I'd suggest using elevation rather than depth 1) because its fewer steps to export, and 2) changes in real-world surface topography (e.g. excavations, earthworks) don't make your model outputs invalid.

    Export Thickness Grid
    • Right click the chosen Output Volumes unit > Export Thickness Grid. I've found the ESRI HDR format (.bil) most user-friendly when it comes to further visualisation/analysis in ArcGIS.
    • Once you have it in ArcGIS, you can either visualise with a colour ramp, or create contours. If you need to simplify/smooth your contours, here is a nice method: Contours Made Easy | GIS Blog (
    If you do need depth, you can merge volumes using Right click Meshes in the Project Tree > Mesh Operations > Boolean Voume > select the relevant units (e.g. all units down to top of bedrock) > OK. Then export the thickness grid from the resulting mesh as described above.

    Export surface elevation
    Similar to the above, but an extra step first.
    • Right click chosen Output Volume unit > Extract mesh > Younger surfaces (or whichever surface you're interested in)
    • Once processed, your extracted surface will be listed in the Meshes folder in the Project Tree.
    • Right click the mesh > Export Elevation Grid (once again, I've had success with .bil format
    • Visualise as you wish in ArcMap or another GIS.