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DEM: Thrusts 1. The effect of pre-kinematic strength on faulting

posted on 11.05.2022, 13:47 by Emma FinchEmma Finch

Application of a Discrete Element Model to investigate the effects of the pre-kinematic strength on thrusting. 

The media in these experiments contain 20664 elements in a box that is 300 x 30 units. Elements are distributed randomly with radii of 0.5, 0.4. 0.3 and 0.2 units. The left-hand boundary is incremented to the right at 0.00005 unit/timestep to a total compression of 150 units (50%). The experiments run for 3 million timesteps with outputs every 50,000 which are presented in the movies. The media is divided into 14 layers. Colours indicate the ‘strength’ of the media where numbers in the file name represent the separation between elements as a function of their initial separation that is required for bonds to break. This is distinct for each bond pair where each element is assigned a breaking separation determined from the average of the strength assigned to each element. 

The movies show the results from experiments where the pre-kinematic layers are:

  • the same strength (F_0.0*),
  • the upper seven layers are relatively stronger (Hu_0.0*), 
  • the lower seven layers are relatively stronger (Hl_0.0*).

The filename shows the strength of the material relative to 1x (F_0.01.gif, grey) . The *_compare movies show three representations of fault evolution. 

  • The upper image shows the bonds between elements as they break where the darker the colour, the more bonds are broken with initial neighbours.
  • The central image is the layers in the experiment.
  • The lower image shows a coherence plot where an element is coloured relative to the difference between its layer number and that of the element immediately below it. Elements within layers are white and  fault locations are highlighted as the colour darkens.

A presentation of final results of the experiments and their associated filenames are in DEM_Thrusts 1.pdf.

The methodology can be found in the first reference below. The second links to experiments with alterating layer strength for comparison.