Within the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC, SFB 350) at Bonn University, dealing with interacting geological processes in continental regimes, a joint 3D/4D GIS project is developed by geologists and computer scientists. When analysing and modelling the structural and sedimentary evolution of the Cenozoic intracratonic Lower Rhine Basin in NW Germany, the need emerged to combine methods and tools of space-time modelling of geologically defined geometries with advanced database management techniques. Computer aided geological design typically requires operations for storage and retrieval of large 3D data sets together with their attributes and topological relations and for the generation of model surfaces of stratigraphic boundaries and faults, which in turn define the boundaries of geological bodies developing in time. The requirements of interactive visualisation, analysis and modification of complex and time dependent geometries entail the demand for spatial, topological and time-related database queries as well as for various consistency and integrity tests. Considering these specific geological requirements, an object-oriented geo-database kernel system has been desgined and implemented as a 'GeoToolKit' for 3D/4D geoscience applications.
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