GPU-based Implementation of Discrete Element Method for Simulation of the Geological Fault Geometry and Position

Vadim V. Lisitsa, Vladimir A. Tcheverda, Victoria V. Volianskaia


We present an algorithm for numerical simulation of the geological fault formation. The approach is based on the discrete elements method, which allows modeling of the deformations and structural discontinuity of the Upper part of the Earth crust. In the discrete elements method, the medium is represented as an combination of discrete particles which interact as elastic or viscoelastic bodies. Additionally, external potential forces, for example gravitational forces, may be introduced. At each time step the full set of forces acting at each particle is computed, after that the position of the particle is evaluated on the base of Newtonian mechanics. We implement the algorithm using CUDA technology to simulate single statistical realization of the model, whereas MPI is used to parallelize with respect to different statistical realizations. Obtained numerical results show that for low dip angles of the tectonic displacements relatively narrow faults form, whereas high dip angles of the tectonic displacements lead to a wide V-shaped deformation zones.

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