3D Finite Element Models of Ground Deformation and Stress Field in a Viscoelastic Medium

D. Scandura1,2, G. Currenti1, and C. Del Negro1
1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Catania, Italy
2Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Università di Catania, Catania, Italy

A 3D finite element model was used to evaluate the time dependent ground deformation and the stress change caused by a pressure source embedded in a viscoelastic medium.

In volcanic areas, the presence of inhomo-geneous materials and high temperatures produce a lower effective viscosity of the Earth's crust which calls for consideration of the thermal regime of crustal volume surrounding the magmatic sources.

Both temperature distributions and ground deformation are firstly evaluated by solving an axi-symmetric problem to estimate the effects of thermo-viscoelastic response of the medium.

Numerical results show that viscoelastic relaxation is responsible for significant time-dependent changes in long-term deformation and a quasi-static stress field around the magmatic sources.

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