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How to show strike and dip angle of geologic structures

June 14 2007 | 2 comments
Categories: Symbology

There is a way of showing the symbols of geological structures (fracture) in his direction of
azimuth using the right hand rule.


Mapping Center Answer:

We do handle symbolizing the strike and dip. In your case, you would:

1. Assign the appropriate marker symbol based on the type of structure.
2. Then set that layer to use rotated point symbols based on your Strike_Azi field. (Advanced button on the layer properties symbology tab). We also have a help topic called: Rotating point feature symbols that discusses how to to this in detail.
3. Then you would set the labeling properties to use the DIP field as the label field. At version 9.3 we’ve also added the ability to set the angle of the DIP label.

There is also an ArcUser article on this subject by Mike Price, who taught me the little bit I know about geologic mapping. You can see that article at:

Mike explains about midway down how to handle the azimuths for the right-hand rule case.

Using Maplex and ArcGIS 93 to rotate and label str posted by Willy Lynch on Jul 16 2008 2:39PM
I think I see how to use ArcGIS93 to rotate and label structure features using the new Maplex label position placment properties.

Using data with numeric strike (RH rule data)and dip data fields, rotate the symbols using Advanced button > rotate on "strike" value, geographic rotation... and for labels, using Maplex, label with dip field, Placement Properties > Label Position > Rotate by Attribute > Rotation Field "strike", additional rotation "90" degrees, rotation type "geographic", alignment type "perpendicular", check keep label upright, may flip... worked for me.

For those without Maplex, it is back to a solution like I posted at:
ArcGIS WebHelp Link How to posted by Willy Lynch on Dec 10 2008 12:21PM
For more complete HELP, see online WebHelp:

Labeling strike and dip

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