Characterisation of a hydrogeological setting is a multi-faceted complex task. The assessment of usefulness and quality of relevant data is a major challenge. Statistical analysis and visual exploration of the datasets demand practical support by computer applications. Although a variety of software for this purpose is freely available nowadays, they require a good understanding of the technology or programming language for application in complex hydrogeological settings. Thus, integrated proprietary software products are often used to analyse and particularly provide high-quality visualisation of the system as screenshots for inclusion in reports (White et al. 2010).

However, these software tools are typically desktop programs with a strict licensing scheme and a limited extensibility and lack of interoperability with other applications. We present an open and free to use web-based (platform independent) framework to enable retrieval, exploration and visualisation of hydro-climate time series data as well as three- dimensional geological information via a web browser. How distributed data and processing services can be linked to prepare an on-demand 3D visualisation of geological and hydrological data (Klug and Kmoch 2014) is demonstrated. A flexible toolbox design enables extensibility via open standards. The method developed is applied to a case study area presented (Figures 1 and 2), which is the Horowhenua district in the Manawatu-Wanganui region. Available datasets of 3D geology, hydrology and hydrogeology are combined and serve as example data for demonstrating the framework.

Groundwater Portal 3D Viewer Module Figure 1: Groundwater Portal 3D Viewer Module, zoomed into the generated X3D scene with basic DEM surface, and WMS images draped on top, a graticule grid and well features (GWML2_Well features from WFS) in purple, generated as columns, referenced via their top elevation and length/depth attribute

Groundwater Portal 3D Viewer Module Figure 2: Groundwater Portal 3D Viewer Module rendering, basic DEM surface (green), and surfaces of geological layers (yellow, orange and red; WCS coverages created from the EarthVision exports

SMART Data Portal 3D Model


Kmoch, A., & Klug, H. (2014). Visualization of 3D Hydrogeological Data in the Web. GI_Forum 2014 – Geospatial Innovation for Society, (2014), 16–24.

Klug, H., & Kmoch, A. (2014). A SMART groundwater portal: An OGC web services orchestration framework for hydrology to improve data access and visualisation in New Zealand. Computers & Geosciences, 69(0), 78–86.

White, P. A., Raiber, M., Della Pasqua, F., Zarour, H., & Meilhac, C. (2010). Three-dimensional geological model of the Horowhenua area. GNS Science Consultancy Report 2009/310. Taupo, New Zealand.