Geology student need help to create a volume


Hello everyone,

I am a French M.s. geology student and I am actually working in a mountain in the alps trying to get the volume of the entire mountain.
By now I have extracted the surface from Google Earth and activated the “relief”.
What I am trying to do now is to close this surface in order to quantify the volume of the mountain. I am pretty sure that this command is not very complicated to do but I am having trouble doing it.

After that I would like to add the inside component strata/layers in 3D that makes the mountain (in the figure behind). Do you think that it could be possible to do that?
Sorry for my english, I havn’t practised for a long time.

Thanks for your help,


See if Eneroth Terrain Volume will help you.

Not easy, but possible! It also depends on the desired result.


Thank you for your answer mihai. I am trying to download the extension I hope it will work.
For the inside layers I don’t need something very accurate, but I think it’s going to be hard for me since I am using sketchup since yesterday. ^^


You’re welcome!
When I said it is not easy, I reffered at the way you want those sections across the mountain. If you want to be just a vertical 2D section, as shown in the picture, then it’s less work, but if you want to be 3D sections, it’s a whole new story.
But if you say you just started working in SketchUp for a little while, then you’ll have a lot to learn to do.


unfortunately I need the 3D… but as a first step it would be great to get the volume.
I have just downloaded the extension Eneroth Terrain Volume but it works only on one section selected with the tool “geoposition”. The area that the tool allows me to select is too small. So I have been using the tool many time in order to get the full area that I want but when I use Eneoth Terrain it works only for one selected area. Maybe you know how is it possible to merge all the area and then to use Eneroth Terrain Volume or is it possible to select a bigger area?
Not sure if I was clear in my explanations.


That’s because you jump over the basic steps.
Extension does its job right. You have to make your terrain a group, and then use the extension.


You haven’t uploaded your drawing so it’s difficult to see exactly what you have so far. A 2D image of a (presumably) 3D object may not give us enough to be able to offer the best help.

In Sketchup, to get a volume, you must have a closed solid. So a cube with only 5 sides would be an open object and would need the sixth side to close it. If your model of the mountain is complete but for a base plane, all you have to do is create one. That may be as simple as drawing a line along one edge at base level if all the base lines are coplanar. Then Select All and make it a group. Entity Info will then report its volume.

If you want to respond in French, I will understand, although your English seems pretty good to me.


This is what I get. The problem is if I select both entities and then create a group when I use Eneroth Terrain Volume nothing apears is that normal?
I am also affraid that when calculating the volume the computer will give solid one + solide two and will count twice the intersected volume.


Simon thanks for your answer, I struggle a lot using the line tool that’s why the extension looks to do the work fine. The model that I get is
and I want to get something similar than mihai got in its gif but just as one volume not an addition of multiple ones


You must have only one solid group

Right-click on your group terrain and “Unlock” it (red box cage).


Thx mihai,

This is what I am doing:

-I add many geo locations one next to an other
-I click on the relief button
-I select all the blue squares
-I right click and click on “create a group”
-I get one big rectangle (I guess the group is created at this point)
-Then I click on extension and on “Eneroth Terrain Volume”

Nothing apears I don’t understand what I am doing wrong. Thanks for your help. :slight_smile:


You would benefit a lot from first learning basics of SketchUp before using SketchUp for a task.

  • There are operations that can work with groups (or grouped entities) and operations that can only work on primitive entities directly. There are operations that work on a single selected item and some that work on multiple. Eneroth Terrain Volume works probably on a single group that contains no nested groups.
  • That your selected groups highlight in red indicates that they are probably locked. Right-click → Unlock.
  • If you want to perform an operation that needs a single group (and in this case a solid group), you select multiple solid groups and do right-click → Outer Shell to merge them into one. That was suggested to be done here.

I think there will be methodological challenges for what you want to achieve:
A mountain most times widens its diameter towards the bottom.
That means any small error or variation you do when defining the reference plane will lead to a huge error of the volume. If the mountain is not an isolated peak, it may be connected to neighboring mountains so it is a challenge how you define a horizontal bottom plane (you maybe would have to vertically cut off its neighboring mountains along the lowest encircling contour line).


That’s because they are groups inside the group you created. Double-click on that group, and then select all your terrain (groups) and “Explode”. Now you will have only one group. Apply extension now.


The basic idea is to start with s single piece of terrain, then give it a bottom so that it becomes a single solid.

You need to explode the individual groups to create a single terrain.


Azrilius, Thank you for your answer. In fact yes defining the limits of the studied volume is quite challenging mainly in terms of depth, but in this case the limits are definied in the first picture and the bottom limit will be the lowest altitude of the model. The goal would be to have a solid like this (brown surface) =>

Mihai sorry it doesn’t work… :frowning:

Box: Thanks, I have just tried your technic but how can I do this with the slope ?

I think it would be easier to increase the limit to the maximum size of the area that can be grabbed at one time. Does an extension exist for this ?


What’s the location of your site? Can you post a map or your model? There are other more accurate terrain sources beyond SketchUp’s native ‘Add Location’ that may work better than either zooming out (loss of detail) or tiling (creating surface overlaps).


Thank you Eric, here is the location of the site. (The coordinates are the ones of the peak of the mountain) I would love to send you the model but how come its quite heavy?
Which technic do you use ? I am getting crazy with this ahah


I should have been more specific. Can you outline on a map the extents of the mountain so I know how much area to look for? Merci.


Oh, I am sorry that’s my geologist habit! ^^

Here you go the red area is the outline of the mountain:

Thanks a lot for your help Eric.


Ok, so here’s what to try:

  1. Trace your boundary on a map that has a scale bar on it…see right corner. Import into SU and scale it.

  2. Assuming your model is geo-located, use an extension called ‘Oob Terrain’ that tiles larger terrains for you so there is no overlap from doing it manually. I used 6000 meters as the coverage area and ‘High resolution’ from the ‘Build 3D terrain’ drop down. The sit back and let it do its thing.

  3. After it imports the tiles, group them all. Then go into the group and explode all of them. Then select all again and soften coplaner to smooth out and remove individual mesh edges.

  4. Then trace your area boundary to create a closed face. Then group it and extrude up into your terrain mesh. Copy the extruded boundary. Then enter your terrain mesh and paste it in place.

  5. Next select the terrain and the extruded boundary and ‘Intersect with selection’.

  6. Lastly, group and separate out the interior terrain volume from its surroundings. Then do what the others had suggested to get the volume.