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General Data Contour Plots

In addition to contouring pole densities on the stereonet, Dips allows you to contour values of any quantitative data column on the stereonet. For example, values of principal stress magnitudes measured at known orientations, or any directional data with an associated magnitude.

  1. This is done through the Contour Options dialog:
    • Select Contour Options from the View menu, OR
    • Select Contour Options from the right-click menu, OR
    • In the Sidebar Plot Options select Contour > Column and select the button button to access Contour Options.
  2. In the Contour Options dialog, select the Data Column option from Contour Data and select a column containing quantitative data (i.e., numeric) that you wish to contour on the stereonet.
  3. Select OK and the stereonet will contour the selected data column and the Legend will indicate the contour values.

This option is intended for use with directional data which has an associated magnitude.


Open the Exampstr.dips8 file in the Examples folder installed with the program ( File > Recent Folders > Examples Folder).

This file contains principal stress data obtained from 20 CSIRO cells in an underground research cavern. This file is meant to illustrate alternative uses for Dips (other than joint data) and to illustrate the variation in magnitude and direction of stress data.

NOTE: The Global Orientation Format = Trend / Plunge for this file.

If you use the Data Column option to contour the Magnitude column in this file, you will actually be contouring principal stress magnitudes on the stereonet. This is a typical example.

The Data Column contour option is only applicable for quantitative data columns, which vary with orientation such that you can contour the data on the stereonet. It is not applicable for qualitative data columns (i.e., non-numeric) or for columns which have numeric data which is not is not intended for contouring (e.g., ID column, or random data with no directional pattern).

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