The aim of this article is to show how three-dimensional (3D) subsurface modeling can help to improve the quality and reliability of geotechnical projects. This article also discusses practical applications of subsurface modeling at regional and local scales, which involves different levels of complexity, discussing the geostatistical techniques that fit each purpose. A local scale case study of an excavated rock slope is presented to show a complete workflow that involves survey data analysis, 3D subsurface modeling with Kriging and Sequential Gaussian Simulation (SGS) studies of spatial heterogeneity of rock mass properties and two-dimensional (2D) Limit Equilibrium Stability Analysis. This case study also shows how the 3D subsurface modeling technique can be applied with a limited amount of data (17 boreholes) to obtain a reasonable model. Finally, some validations and uncertainties of the model are analyzed.

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