Year of Publication


Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Keith Rouch


Many geological numerical models are initiated with a background stress state of zero. Often these numerical results are compared directly to geodetic data. Recent work (Kenner and Simons, 2004) has shown that modeled deformation rates can change as the model is cycled-up following repeated earthquakes or rifting events. In this study, we investigate model cycle-up in the context of time-dependent deformation following rifting during the 1975-1984 Krafla eruption in Iceland. We consider the number of rifting cycles required for complete cycle-up, variations in cycle-up time at different locations in the model, background stress magnitudes in fully cycled-up models, and errors incurred when the models are not properly cycled-up. The modeling is done using the commercial software ABAQUS. In ABAQUS a user-defined subroutine is used to apply repeated rifting events within the finite element model. We have generated various 3D models with different fault/rift geometries. The models include (1) a straight rift oriented perpendicular to the far-field velocity boundary conditions, (2) a rift oriented at an angle to the far-field velocities, (3) a model containing two intersecting rifts, one perpendicular to the far-field velocities and the other rift intersecting the first at an angle, and (4) overlapping rift segments in which the overlapped region is bounded by strike-slip faults.