This work made possible in part by NSF Grant OCE96-18198
The distinct element method (DEM), described in a previous page, can be used for simulating the deformation of natural large-scale geologic systems such as accretionary prisms and extensional wedges, serving as a numerical sandbox. For granular systems, DEM simulations offer an advantage over more common numerical techniques such as finite element and finite difference methods, because the mechanical behavior of the system is determined directly from physical interactions among the discrete particles; moreover, the evolution of the system and the distribution of material properties can be directly observed. To demonstrate the numerical sandbox, I ran several experiments, using elastic particles with different friction coefficients. Movies of these experiments can be viewed below:
- Morgan, J.K., 1997, Studying Submarine Accretionary Prisms in a "Numerical Sandbox": Simulations using the Distinct Element Method, EOS Trans. AGU, Fall Meeting Suppl., 78, 707.
Page last modified on 1-November-2000