Benchmarking and evolving earthquake fault-rupture simulations

Project: Research

Project Details


This project along with its planned continuation have the following main objectives: (1) The development of a more agile simulation methodology and benchmarking based on the existing 3DEC models. The existing methodology is quite laborious and computationally expensive. (2) To carry out benchmarking of a suitable FEM-DEM/DEM code with one of the large benchmarking exercises (e.g., published by Harris et al., 2018); confirming that the code is simulating the rupture of earthquake faults similarly to codes developed specifically for such applications. Benchmarking would increase the reliability of seismic hazard analyses built on the simulations performed with the code and empower the use of the code in corresponding applications such as in studying the effects of blasting related to mining and construction of infrastructure, and induced seismicity related to geothermal heat production. In addition, dynamic earthquake simulations could provide a tool for studying the near-field effects of smaller earthquakes possibly occurring close to NPPs, which have been discussed during the recent projects related to PSHAs. (3) To extend Finnish simulation expertise from static applications to dynamic simulations, which is a key area of rock mechanics. For example, FLAC3D, 3DEC and PFC3D are currently used for static stress simulations at different scales, stability analyses and thermomechanical simulations in Finland, and the knowledge for earthquake simulations has been acquired from abroad. Simulating the dynamic effects of earthquakes has a use potential in studying seismic hazards of NPPS and nuclear repositories, as well as in increasing safety and social acceptance in projects including blasting or induced seismicity close to population, infrastructure or vulnerable constructions.

Layman's description

Seismic hazard is hard to estimate in Finland, without relevant observations of surface or underground motions caused by earthquakes. For example, the long-term safety of the spent nuclear fuel underground depend on movements of fractures induced by earthquakes on faults at a certain distance. In this project we develop modeling, based on principles of rock-mechanics, to predict earthquake induced movements.
Effective start/end date1/02/2231/01/23

Collaborative partners