Lesson Open Access

Stereonets and Rose Diagrams in Python

De Pinho, Bruno

Geoscientists usually work with lines, planes and their angular relationships. Studying these relationships requires some techniques to put real 3D features into simple 2D visualizations. We don't always need to design super complex 3D models just to figure out the angle between two planes, right?

This is why the Stereographic Projection and the Stereonets became so important to geologists. This projection is fast and efficient when we just want to analyze angular relationships. It does not preserve distances or areas of the features that are projected in it, just angles.

In Python, stereonet are veeery simple to do thanks to Joe Kington (a geologist!). Joe created a stereonet module for matplotlib called mplstereonet. We are going to explore this module in this tutorial.

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