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Book Chapter

Digital Sandbox Modeling Using Distinct Element Method: Applications to Fault Tectonics

By
Yasuhiro Yamada
Yasuhiro Yamada
Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Research Center, Chiba, Japan
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Toshifumi Matsuoka
Toshifumi Matsuoka
Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

Structural deformation by faulting and folding has been analyzed by sandbox experiments that appropriately model the brittle behavior of the upper crust.This type of physical experiment using granular materials can also be done by numerical simulation (digital modeling) using the distinct element method (DEM).This chapter presents a set of two-dimensional simulation results of structural deformations using the DEM in basic tectonic settings of extension and contraction and also in the indentation tectonics as a consequence of continental collision of India. By comparing with analog experiments, the simulations reproduced fault systems similar to those of the experiments in terms of the overall deformation geometry and their development sequence. In particular, characteristic features of the Indian collision tectonics, such as fragmentation and rotation of continental blocks, were clearly identified in our DEM simulation. Because the DEM digital modeling is cheaper and faster than conventional sandbox experiments and it can incorporate discontinuity surfaces properly, the method can prove to be a powerful tool to simulate fault-related phenomena, such as structural traps in sedimentary basins. The DEM is a forward-modeling technique and can provide useful information on possible deformation pathways.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Faults, Fluid Flow, and Petroleum Traps

Rasoul Sorkhabi
Rasoul Sorkhabi
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Yoshihiro Tsuji
Yoshihiro Tsuji
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
85
ISBN electronic:
9781629810065
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

GeoRef

References

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