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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/se-2017-9
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Method article
09 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Implementing nonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT: benchmarking and applications to 3D subduction modeling
Anne Glerum1, Cedric Thieulot1, Menno Fraters1, Constantijn Blom1, and Wim Spakman1,2 1Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
2Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway
Abstract. ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth’s ConvecTion) is a massively parallel finite element code originally designed for modeling thermal convection in the mantle with a Newtonian rheology. The code is characterized by modern numerical methods, high-performance parallelism and extensibility. This last characteristic is illustrated in this work: we have extended the use of ASPECT from global thermal convection modeling to upper mantle-scale applications of subduction.

Subduction modeling generally requires the tracking of multiple materials with different properties and with nonlinear viscous and viscoplastic rheologies. To this end, we implemented a frictional plasticity criterion that is combined with a viscous diffusion and dislocation creep rheology. Because ASPECT uses compositional fields to represent different materials (and, since recently, tracers), all material parameters are made dependent on a user-specified number of fields.

The goal of this paper is primarily to describe and validate our implementations of complex, multi-material rheology by reproducing the results of four well-known two-dimensional benchmarks: the indentor benchmark, the brick experiment, the sandbox experiment and the slab detachment benchmark. Furthermore, we aim to provide hands-on examples for prospective users by demonstrating the use of multi-material viscoplasticity with three-dimensional, thermomechanical models of oceanic subduction, putting ASPECT on the map as a community code for high-resolution, nonlinear rheology subduction modeling.


Citation: Glerum, A., Thieulot, C., Fraters, M., Blom, C., and Spakman, W.: Implementing nonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT: benchmarking and applications to 3D subduction modeling, Solid Earth Discuss., doi:10.5194/se-2017-9, in review, 2017.
Anne Glerum et al.
Anne Glerum et al.
Anne Glerum et al.

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Short summary
A nonlinear viscoplastic rheology is implemented and benchmarked in the ASPECT software, allowing for the modeling of lithospheric deformation. We showcase the new functionality with a four-dimensional model of thermomechanically coupled subduction.
A nonlinear viscoplastic rheology is implemented and benchmarked in the ASPECT software,...
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