Multiscale, multiphysics geomechanics for geodynamics applied to buckling instabilities in the middle of the Australian craton

Klaus Regenauer-Lieb, Manolis Veveakis, Thomas Poulet, Martin Paesold, Gideon Rosenbaum, Roberto F Weinberg, Ali Karrech

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a new multi-physics, multi-scale Integrated Computational Materials Engineering framework for predictive geodynamic simulations. A first multiscale application is presented that allows linking our existing advanced material characterization methods from nanoscale through laboratory-, field and geodynamic scales into a new rock simulation framework. The outcome of our example simulation is that the diachronous Australian intraplate orogenic events are found to be caused by one and the same process. This is the non-linear progression of a fundamental buckling instability of the Australian intraplate lithosphere subject to long-term compressive forces. We identify four major stages of the instability: (1) a long wavelength elasto-visco-plastic flexure of the lithosphere without localized failure (first 50 Myrs of loading); (2) an incipient thrust on the central hinge of the model (50-90 Myrs); (3) followed by a secondary and tertiary thrust (90-100 Myrs) 200 km away to either side of the central thrust; (4) a progression of subsidiary thrusts advancing towards the central thrust (Myrs). The model is corroborated by multiscale observations which are: nano-micro CT analysis of deformed samples in the central thrust giving evidence of cavitation and creep fractures in the thrust; mm-cm size veins of melts (pseudotachylite) that are evidence of intermittent shear heating events in the thrust; and 1-10 km width of the thrust - known as the mylonitic Redbank shear zone - corresponding to the width of the steady state solution, where shear heating on the thrust exactly balances heat diffusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3055-3077
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Volume95
Issue number28-30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • complex systems
  • fluid dynamics
  • geomechanics
  • homogenization
  • microstructure
  • multiphysics
  • multiscaling
  • solid mechanics

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