A trace map comparison algorithm for the discrete fracture network models of rock masses

Shuai Han, Gang Wang, Mingchao Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Discrete fracture networks (DFN) are widely used to build refined geological models. However, validating whether a refined model can match to reality is a crucial problem, concerning whether the model can be used for analysis. The current validation methods include numerical validation and graphical validation. However, the graphical validation, aiming at estimating the similarity between a simulated trace map and the real trace map by visual observation, is subjective. In this paper, an algorithm for the graphical validation of DFN is set up. Four main indicators, including total gray, gray grade curve, characteristic direction and gray density distribution curve, are presented to assess the similarity between two trace maps. A modified Radon transform and loop cosine similarity are presented based on Radon transform and cosine similarity respectively. Besides, how to use Bézier curve to reduce the edge effect is described. Finally, a case study shows that the new algorithm can effectively distinguish which simulated trace map is more similar to the real trace map.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Graphical validation
  • Image processing
  • Rock mass model
  • Similarity calculation
  • Trace map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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