This study developed a one-dimensional numerical model of sedimentation and compaction based on the equivalent isochrone framework to investigate the impact of creep on geopressure during burial. In this framework, the void ratio is a function of effective stress and strain rate; the change in void ratio is the same with each order of magnitude decrease in strain rate at a constant effective stress. We simulated lower void ratio and higher overpressure when creep was included compared to cases where no creep was present and void ratio is only a function of effective stress. Creep causes apparent overconsolidation. The apparent overconsolidation ratio is used to quantify the magnitude of creep; this is the vertical distance from the normal compression curve in a void ratio v. effective stress plot. The magnitude of creep depends on the loading rate, and increases with depth at sites with low sedimentation rates. These findings bridge the gap between laboratory and field observations on rock compression behaviours. For example, it provides one explanation why laboratory-derived compression curves have a higher void ratio at a given effective stress. In addition, it suggests under what conditions the rock will behave elastically.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Geopressure collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/geopressure

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