• A Numerical Sandbox using DEM simulations

    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:

    **Check Out These Movies**

    Movies of Compressional Wedges using Animated GIF Images

    (These run very well on the Sun, the Mac, and the PC. However, they are very large, and may take some time to load. In order for the movie to loop properly, you may have to increase your cache in Netscape under network options.)
    Compressional Wedge (=0.50,b=0.10) Compressional Wedge (=0.50,b=0.35)
    Download G10-b.agf Download G11-b.agf

    Old Movies using Animated GIF Images

    Compressional Wedge (=.30,b=.15) Compressional Wedge (=.58,b=.30) Extensional Wedge (=.81,b=.51)

    Related Publications

  • 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