Construct a Polar Stereonet

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Creating a Polar Stereonet

1. Small circles can be constructed using degree markings along the main meridian and equator as guides.

2. In the absence of a stereonet, radii of small circles can be constructed using the definition of the stereographic projection.

3. Great circles are simply radial lines. Construct them using the degrees on the primitive circle, or with a protractor. 

4. Final result.

Now That We Have It, What's It Good For?

A polar stereonet would almost never be used by itself. It would be used in conjunction with a regular stereonet of the same diameter for rapid plotting of lines or poles. Once plotted, the data overlay would be transferred to a regular stereonet for analysis.

1. A polar stereonet is good for plotting large quantities of trend and plunge data directly. Mark off trends and plunges as shown.

2. A polar stereonet can also be used to plot poles to planes. The trend of a pole is 90 degrees from the strike of the corresponding plane. Strikes of planes are shown here.

3. Dip directions of planes are as shown. 

4. A polar stereonet labeled for plotting poles.


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Created 5 September 2000, Last Update 5 September 2000
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