The Westernmost Tethys Blog Geology mapping, basin analysis and 3D modeling


K-nearest neighbors algorithm used for classifying geological variables.

The k-nearest neighbors (KNN) algorithm is a non-parametric supervised machine learning classifier; which uses proximity and similarity to make classifications or predictions about the grouping of an individual data point. This ability makes the KNN algorithm ideal for classifying datasets of geological variables and parameters prior to 3D visualization. This paper introduces a machine learning KNN algorithm and Python libraries for visualizing the 3D stratigraphic architecture of sedimentary porous media in the Quaternary onshore Llobregat River Delta (LRD) in northeastern Spain. A first HTML model showed a consecutive 5 m-equispaced set of horizontal sections of the granulometry classes created with the KNN algorithm from 0 to 120 m below sea level in the onshore LRD. A second HTML model showed the 3D mapping of the main Quaternary gravel and coarse sand sedimentary bodies (lithosomes) and the basement (Pliocene and older rocks) top surface created with Python libraries. These results reproduce well the complex sedimentary structure of the LRD reported in recent scientific publications and proves the suitability of the KNN algorithm and Python libraries for visualizing the 3D stratigraphic structure of sedimentary porous media, which is a crucial stage in making decisions in different environmental and economic geology disciplines.

The 3D stratigraphic architecture (coarse lithosomes and the basement top surface (BTS)) of the onshore LRD. (A) Gravel and coarse sand lithosomes and BTS. (B) Gravel lithosomes and BTS. (C) Coarse sand lithosomes and BTS. (D) Basement top surface. The color assigned to each granulometry class is cyan for gravel, yellow for coarse sand, and reddish-brownish for the basement. An interactive 3D HTML version of this model is included in Supplementary Materials

Interactive figures here

Cite as: Bullejos, M., Cabezas, D., Martín-Martín, M., Alcalá, F.J., 2022. A K-Nearest Neighbors Alborithm in Python for Visualizing the 3D Stratigraphic Architecture of the Llobregat River Delta in NE Spain.  J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 

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