Golden Software Blog

Helping you learn more about the latest product information, tips, tricks, techniques, and customer stories so you can visualize data and communicate results with ease.

Understanding Coordinate Systems in Surfer

A topic in which we receive many customer inquiries is coordinate systems. I recently reviewed the individual questions as they pertain to Surfer, and many users are confused about where to change the coordinate system information, what to set it to, or what order to perform the steps. To shed some light on this very important component of map making, this blog will address these questions.

I recently had a question where a user needed to convert the XY coordinates of the map from lat/lon (degrees) into meters, so that they could add a profile to the map showing meters as the Distance units instead of degrees. 

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Modeling Groundwater Resources in Surfer

Modeling Groundwater Resources in Surfer

We are pleased to present another story detailing the application of Surfer in the industry.

This story comes from former Golden Software team member, Jared King, who now works as a hydrogeologist for Knight Piésold. Mr. King and the Knight Piésold team were tasked to characterize groundwater resources for a potential mining area. An important component of the mining process, water is used for mineral processing, metal recovery, dust mitigation, and the basic needs for on-site workers. Even more importantly, a thorough understanding of groundwater resources is a major factor in understanding the environmental impact of the mine on those resources.

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Recent Comments
Blakelee Mills
Hi Armandt - I can't speak to the methodology used, but let me reach out to the author to see if he can provide some insight.... Read More
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 08:54
Blakelee Mills
Hi Armandt - you can view the full article here Read More
Monday, 29 January 2018 09:14
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Mapping the Summer Heat Wave in Surfer

Mapping the Summer Heat Wave in Surfer

As an avid outdoorsman in Colorado, I am always making sure I know what the current local weather pattern is going to do. Whether I’m going into Rocky Mountain National Park for a day hike, attending an outdoor show at Red Rocks amphitheater, or riding in the weekly Denver Cruiser ride, I have learned over the past 17 years that the weather in my colorful state is always unpredictable! I know I need to consult the forecast to see if I need to wear a rain jacket, pack a sweatshirt, cover myself with sunscreen, or a combination of all 3 before I embark on my journey. However, the past weeks and even few months seem to change this mode of thinking. The weather has been more predictable than past years; it’s going to be hot and dry.

There has been a lot of buzz in the media lately about El Niño and the global heatwave this summer. This piqued my interest; I was curious if Colorado was experiencing the same trend locally compared to previous years’ temperatures. My mapping professional side couldn’t balk at the opportunity to create some maps that compare the summer temperatures over past years in hopes to find some obvious temperature-increasing trends.

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Create Aspect-Slope Maps in Seconds Using Surfer

My last blog article described how to create a slope map from a digital elevation model in Surfer. Moving forward on that topic, I found this blog article written for ArcMap on creating aspect-slope maps, which was improved upon for QGIS. This single map combines both the compass direction of slopes (aspect) and the steepness of the slopes (in degrees) and uses both color and saturation to display the combined results. Slopes facing different directions use different colors, and the brightness of that color shows the steepness of that slope (the brighter the color, the steeper the slope). I thought this was a really interesting map type and it made me wonder how this could be done in Surfer.

Coincidentally, at that time, a user asked me this exact question! The user wanted to come up with a way to see the very small slope variations in the soft sediments they have on the surface, using both aspect and slope. Looking at the slopes and aspect together may reveal small variations that otherwise could be overlooked.

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Creating Terrain Slope Maps from Digital Elevation Models in Surfer

Creating a map of slopes is common practice when looking at slope stability. Some examples of when you may want to create slope maps would be to identify areas with high slope to indicate avalanche or landslide danger. Another example may be to present slope maps of the seabed so that a structure with set tolerances for inclination could be located. Slope and gradient maps can be easily generated using Surfer.

Slope information can be easily computed from grid, raster or digital elevation models (DEMs) using options under the Grid | Calculus menu command in Surfer. The slope values can be expressed either in degrees or as a decimal (rise/run) which can then be computed as a percentage. For example, using Grid | Calculus you could select:

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