Isle of Wight: Educational 3D model

Please work through the Lithoframe user guide and/or the video tutorial to become acquainted with the model.

Explore the geology displayed in the model by exploding the model and rotating it.

Now create some cross-sections and boreholes in order to familiarise yourself with the geology of this area.


  • Can you locate any folds in the model?
  • Can you locate any faults in the model?
  • What is the stratigraphic order of the rocks in the model?
  • Which rocks are permeable and which are not?

Have a look at these thin sections of some chalk rocks. Make a note of the pores (voids) in the rock (these have been dyed blue to help you identify them).

Chalk thin section
Chalk thin section
  • What do we call a rock that has a lot of pores?
  • As you look at each thin section, how inter-connected are the pores? This factor is known as permeability.

Where these pores are completely filled with water the rock is said to be in the saturated zone (usually found at depth).

Higher up, where not all the pores are water-filled, is called the unsaturated zone.

These are divided by the water table. Now locate in the model the water table and where you think the saturated and unsaturated zones lie.

  • Is the water table flat?
  • Draw a cross-section which shows the water table. Are there any areas where it intercepts the land surface?
  • From what you have learned, which layers of rocks in the model will make good aquifers? (Hint: those that are sufficiently porous to store water and permeable enough to allow water to flow through them in economic quantities)
  • Are any of these aquifers confined by impermeable layers?
  • Where would you put in a water borehole for a domestic water supply?
  • What else do you need to take into account when taking water from an aquifer? (Hint: how quickly it replenishes — recharge)