Every so often we get contacted by users who would like to display contoured vertical sections of geophysical data, like GPR, gravity, or magnetic readings. Until recently, it wasn't possible to do this in Surfer, but with the new 3D Viewer and a little bit of data manipulation, you can! This workflow is easiest if your vertical sections run parallel to each other.
Consider this example: You have some lines of geophysical measurements that were taken in the field with a 10 meter spacing:
You bring these measurements into Surfer and grid each line of data separately, giving you five contour maps representing the XZ domain. But how can you display them in the appropriate position? Overlaying all five as 3D surface maps won't work. What you can do in Surfer 15 is overlay contours onto planar 3D surfaces representing the survey line offset position, then turn on the 3D View.
Here's the basic workflow:
Using the Grid Function tool (Grids | New Grid | Grid Function), create five planar grid files where the Z value is equivalent to the horizontal spacing between the geophysical survey lines, and the Grid Geometry (the X and Y Minimum and Maximum) is equivalent to the dimensions of your contoured grid files. In our example, since the lines are 10 meters apart, we will have five planar grid files with Z values of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50.
The next step is to create a 3D surface map that contains all of the planar grid files as 3D surfaces, and all of the geophysical grids as contour maps. In our example, the Contents window looks like this:
When you're happy with the contour map appearance, click Map Tools | View | 3D View. In the 3D View Contents window, expand the Surfaces section. Uncheck all of the contours boxes, leaving only the planar surface showing. Select each planar grid one by one, and in the Textures to Display section of the Properties window, check the matching contours layer for that geophysical line.
Now, using the Trackball and Pan commands, you can orient the slices however you want.