Two-dimensional finite element analysis of gravitational and lateral-driven deformation in sedimentary basins



The paper deals with the modeling of some aspects, such as the formulation of constitutive equations for sediment material or finite element approach for basin analysis, related to mechanical compaction in sedimentary basins. In addition to compaction due to gravity forces and pore-pressure dissipation, particular emphasis is given to the study of deformation induced by tectonic sequences. The numerical model relies upon the implementation of a comprehensive constitutive model for the sediment material formulated within the framework of finite poroplasticity. The theoretical model accounts for both hydromechanical and elasticity–plasticity coupling due to the effects of irreversible large strains. From the numerical viewpoint, a finite element procedure specifically devised for dealing with sedimentary basins as open systems allows to simulate within a two-dimensional setting the process of sediment accretion or erosion.

Several basin simulations are presented. The main objective is to analyze the behavior of a sedimentary basin during the different phases of its life cycle: accretion phase, pore-pressure dissipation phase and compressive/extensional tectonic motions. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.