Insights into the faulting process from numerical simulations of rock-layer bending

Gary Douglas Couples, Margaret Helen Lewis, Peter Olden, G H Workman, N G Higgs

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    An elasti-plastic material model, with strain-hardening or -softening, and volumetric strains, implemented within a general-purpose finite-element system (SAVFEM™), is shown to reproduce the stress-strain relationships and localized to de-localized (brittle to ductile) changes in strain response that have long been observed in typical laboratory experiments on common porous rocks. Based on that validation of the implementation, SAVFEM™ is then used to create numerical simulations that reproduce the patterns of localized shear zones, and their growth history, that occur in experimental (physical) models of fold-fault systems in layered rocks. These simulations involve a progressive evolution of the mechanical state, illustrating a geometrically dominated type of localization behaviour. Part of the deformation simulated here represents a crestal graben system. Analysis of the evolving mechanical state in the system of simulated faults poses challenges to some longstanding ideas concerning the way that faults operate, suggesting the need for a new fault-process paradigm. © The Geological Society of London 2007.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Relationship between Damage and Localization
    Number of pages26
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Publication series

    NameGeological Society Special Publication
    ISSN (Print)0305-8719


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