DISCRETE ELEMENT METHOD (DEM)

 

A discrete element method (DEM), also called a distinct element method is a mesh-free method for computing the motion of a large number of particles of micron-scale size and above. Today DEM is becoming widely accepted as an effective method of addressing engineering problems in granular and discontinuous materials, especially in granular flows, powder mechanics, and rock mechanics.        

Picture_797 - DEM Theory1Picture_798 - DEM Theory2

Particles interact with their nearest neighbours by free elastic, brittle-elastic "bonded" or frictional forces and the motion of the particles is calculated by updating the velocities of each particles from the sum of the forces exerted on that particle using Newton's law.

The software package to be used is "ESyS-Particle", a fully parallel DEM implementation.  The parallelization is based on a distributed memory approach using MPI as the communication library. The software is running a unix-like operating system (Linux) and large clusters.

 


DEM Publications

 

Papers

Simon Virgo, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
"The evolution of crack seal vein and fracture networks in an evolving stress field: Insights from Discrete Element Models of fracture sealing." Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 119.12 (2014): 8708-8727. (2014)
 
Steffen Abe, Janos Urai, Michael Kettermann
Fracture patterns in nonplane strain boudinage—insights from 3-D discrete element models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 118 (3), 1304-1315. (2013)
 
Simon Virgo, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
Extension Fracture Propagation in Rocks with Veins: Insight into the Crack-Seal Process using DEM Modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth. Vol. 118 (10), pp. 5336-5251. doi:10.1002/2013JB010540 (2013)
 
Andrea Komoróczi, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
Meshless numerical modeling of brittle-viscous deformation: first results on boudinage and hydrofracturing using a coupling of discrete element method (DEM) and smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). Computational Geosciences. Springer Netherlands (2013)
 
Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
Discrete element modeling of boudinage: Insights on rock rheology, matrix flow, and evolution of geometry. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 117, B01407, 13 PP., 2012 doi:10.1029/2011JB008555 (2012)
 
Karen Mair, Steffen Abe
Breaking up: Comminution mechanisms in sheared simulated fault gouge. Pure and Applied Geophysics Special Issue on Brittle deformation of solid and granular materials with applications to mechanics of earthquakes and faults. DOI: 10.1007/s00024-011-0266-6 (2011)
 
Steffen Abe, Heijn van Gent, Janos Urai
DEM Simulation of Normal Faults in cohesive Materials, Tectonophysics 512, 12-21. (2011)
 
Steffen Abe, Karen Mair
Effects of gouge fragment shape on fault friction: New 3D modelling results. Geophysical Research Letters. 36, L23302, doi:10.1029/2009GL040684. (2009)
 
Martin Schoepfer, Steffen Abe, Conrad Childs, John Walsh
The impact of porosity and crack density on the elasticity, strength and friction of cohesive granular materials: Insights from DEM modelling. International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 46(2), 250-261. (2009)
 
Karen Mair, Steffen Abe
3D numerical simulations of fault gouge evolution during shear: Grain size reduction and strain localization. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 274(1-2), 72-81. (2008)
 

Abstracts

Michael Kettermann, Christoph von Hagke, Simon Virgo, Janos Urai
Testing the influence of vertical, pre-existing joints on normal faulting using analogue and 3D discrete element models (DEM), Abstract Ref. Nr. EGU2015-11271 (2015)
 
Simon Virgo, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
Evolution of Vein Networks and Structural Styles of Fracture-Vein Interaction: Insight into the Crack-Seal Process from 3D-DEM Modelling. EGU European Geosciences Union General Assembly, 27th April – 02nd May, 2014, Vienna (Austria). (2014)
 
Alexander Raith, Janos Urai, Steffen Abe
DEM simulation based modeling of fault zone evolution in brittle-ductile layered rocks. DEFORMATION MECHANISMS, RHEOLOGY & TECTONICS, KU Leuven 16-18 September 2013, Leuven, Belgium. (2013)
 
Andrea Komoróczi, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
DEM simulation of oblique boudinage. EGU General Assembly 2013, 7-12 April, Vienna, Austria. Abstract-13551. (2013)
 
Steffen Abe, Janos Urai, Michael Kettermann
Discrete element modeling of boudinage in 2D and 3D: Insights on rock rheology, matrix flow, and evolution of 3D geometry. DEFORMATION MECHANISMS, RHEOLOGY & TECTONICS, KU Leuven 16-18 September 2013, Leuven, Belgium (2013)
 
Simon Virgo, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
Structural Styles of Fracture-Vein Interaction: Insight into the Crack-Seal Process from 3D-DEM Modelling.DEFORMATION MECHANISMS, RHEOLOGY & TECTONICS,KULeuven, Belgium. (2013)
 
Simon Virgo, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
DEM modeling of fracture propagation in veined rock. EGU General Assembly 2012. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 14, EGU2012-7426, 2012. (2012)
 
V. Boros, DK Weatherley, Steffen Abe
Performance benchmarking results for a parallel implementation of the discrete element method. EGU General Assembly 2012. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 14, EGU2012-7996-1, 2012 (2012)
 
Steffen Abe, DK Weatherley, T. Ayton
Generation of Random Particle Packings for Discrete Element Models. EGU General Assembly 2012. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 14, EGU2012-7943-1, 2012. (2012)
 
Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
Discrete Element Modelling of Boudinage in 3D. EGU General Assembly 2012. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 14, EGU2012-2646, 2012. (2012)
 
Steffen Abe, Karen Mair
DEM Modelling of Comminution Processes in Fault Gouge. EGU General Assembly. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 13, pp. EGU2011-1293. Room 28 / Tue, 05 Apr, 10:45-11:00, oral (2011)
 
Andrea Komoróczi, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai
A new method for modelling of coupled brittle-ductile deformation. Geotag 2011, RWTH Aachen University. (2011)
 
Janos Urai, Peter Kukla, Heijn van Gent, Steffen Abe, Shiyuan Li, Guillaume Desbois, Johannes Schoenherr, Zsolt Schléder, Lars Reuning, and several additional authors .
Internal Dynamics of salt structures. Alpine Salt 2011: A workshop on Alpine Evaporites, Salzburg, Austria. 31 March. Invited Talk (2011)
 
Steffen Abe, Janos Urai, Karen Mair
3D DEM Modelling of Fault Roughness Evolution. EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 12, EGU2010-9420. (2010)
 
Steffen Abe, Karen Mair
DEM Simulations of Fault Gouge Processes - where we stand, where we'll go. EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 1607-7962, 12, EGU2010-9378. (2010)
 
Steffen Abe, Heijn van Gent, Janos Urai
Discrete Element Modeling of Boudinage. TSK13, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 6-12. 4. 2010, 1. (2010)
 
Steffen Abe, Janos Urai, Joyce Schmatz
DEM Simulation of Clay Smear along Faults. EGU General Assembly 2009, Vienna, Austria, 19 - 24 April 2009, 11. (2009)
 
Steffen Abe, Karen Mair
Simulating Fault Gouge Dynamics. 22th Kongsberg seminar "Physics of hydrocarbon-bearing systems", Kongsberg, Norway, 6-9 May (2009)
 
Steffen Abe, Karen Mair
Fault Gouge, Grain Shape and Friction - new Results from 3D DEM Simulations. EGU General Assembly 2009, Vienna, Austria, 19 - 24 April 2009, 11. (2009)
 
Janos Urai, Joyce Schmatz, Heijn van Gent, Steffen Abe, Marc Holland
From Fault Seal to Fault Leak: Effect of Mechanical Stratigraphy on the Evolution of Transport Processes in Fault Zones. AGU 90 Fall Meet. (2009)
 
Heijn van Gent, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai, Marc Holland
The formation of open fractures in brittle rocks and the evolution of permeability with fault slip- results from analogue and numerical models. EGU General Assembly 2009, Vienna, Austria, 19 - 24 April 2009, 11. (2009)
 
Karen Mair, Steffen Abe
Effects of gouge fragment shape on fault friction: New 3D modeling results. AGU 90 Fall Meet. (2009)
 
Martin P.J. Schöpfer, Conrad Childs, John Walsh, Steffen Abe, Arzu Arslan, Eoghan P. Holohan
Distinct Element Method (DEM) Modelling of Laboratory to Outcrop-Scale Fracturing of Natural Rocks. Joint Annual Meeting : GSA, ASA, CSSA, SSSA, GCACS, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, USA, 5-9 October, 129-4. (2008)
 
Steffen Abe, Heijn van Gent, Janos Urai
DEM Simulation of normal faulting in cohesive materials The 27th IUGG Conference on Mathematical Geophysics, Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Norway, June 15 - 20, 2008, 22. (2008)
 
Steffen Abe, Heijn van Gent, Marc Holland
Discrete Element Simulations of the formation of open fractures during normal faulting of cohesive materials. Third International Geomodelling Conference, Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, Florence, Italy, September 22, 2008, (2008)
 
Steffen Abe, Joyce Schmatz, Janos Urai
DEM Simulation of shear induced mixing in layered Sand-Clay Sequences. EGU General Assembly 2008, Vienna, Austria, 10. (2008)
 
Steffen Abe, Karen Mair
How do Things break in Fault Gouge ? Abrasion vs. Grain splitting in Discrete Element Simulations. EGU General Assembly 2008, Vienna, Austria, 10. (2008)
 
Steffen Abe, Marc Holland, Janos Urai
Discrete Element Simulation of the formation of open Fractures during normal faulting of cohesive Materials. EGU General Assembly 2008, Vienna, Austria, 10. (2008)
 
Janos Urai, Joyce Schmatz, Steffen Abe, Heijn van Gent, Marc Holland
The Effect of mechanical stratigraphy on the evolution of transport processes in fault zones. Geo 2008; International Conference and 106th annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften e. V. (DGG) and 98th annual meeting of the Geologi (2008)
 
Martin P.J. Schöpfer, Steffen Abe, Conrad Childs, John Walsh
Elasticity, strength, friction and porosity relations in Discrete Element Method (DEM) models of cohesive granular materials. Tectonics Studies Group Annual Meeting, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium, 8th-11th January, 2008, 84-85. (2008)
 
Steffen Abe, Heijn van Gent, Janos Urai
Discrete Element Simulation of Normal Faulting In cohesive Materials. Geo 2008; International Conference and 106th annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften e. V. (DGG) and 98th annual meeting of the Geologische Vereinigung e.V. (G (2008)
 
Heijn van Gent, Steffen Abe, Janos Urai, Marc Holland
The formation of open fractures in scaled analogue and numerical experiments. Third International Geomodelling Conference, Florence, Italy, September 23, 2008, Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, 49, 338-342. (2008)