Tectonic Modelling Short Course

Tectonic Modelling Short Course

Table of Contents

This tutorial is being designed for a 1-day workshop. It is intended to provide a very brief introduction to tectonic modelling using continuum models. The target audience are structural geologists without a lot of previous knowledge of modelling. The main goal is to introduce the main concepts and to play around with a toy code to provide a hands-on experience. The coverage of the different subjects is therefore very short and by no means exhaustive.

This tutorial is still in the process of being created, therefore it is still incomplete!

What you will learn

  • Some modelling basics
    • What is a model ?
    • Modelling workflow
    • Numerical modelling basics
    • Usage of a numerical code

Workshop overview

  • What is a model?

    What is a model? When it comes to tectonic models, there may be some confusion about the term “model”. Often, this term is interpreted as something the necessarily involves mathematics. Indeed, as the following definition shows, “model” often refers to mathematical models:

  • The modelling workflow

    The modelling workflow Observation Simplification Explanation Validation The role of mathematics Previous: Intro Next: Numerical Methods

  • Model Types

    Model types Conceptual models Analytical models Numerical models Previous: Intro Next: Numerical Methods

  • Numerical Methods

    Numerical methods Finite Element Method Finite Difference Method Finite Volume Method Previous: Package Description Next: Creating Cross Sections


Marcel Thielmann


Do I need to do anything in advance?

The codes in this workshop will be based on Matlab. Therefore it would be good if you have a recent version of Matlab installed and if you had a working knowledge of Matlab.

Further reading

  • Numerical Geodynamic Modelling by Taras Gerya : Provides a good introduction and throughly discusses solving the main governing equations in geodynamic modelling using Finite Differences