Benchmark 1

Viscoelastic relaxation of stresses resulting from an imposed uniaxial strain. No body forces are imposed. Material should have infinite bulk viscosity (i.e., should not relax in volume, only in shear).

Benchmark #1a: Solve using a Maxwell linear viscoelastic material rheology conceptually, a spring (GM) and dashpot (ηM) in series.

Benchmark #1b: Solve using a Burgers body rheological description - conceptually, a Maxwell element in series with a Kelvin-Voigt element (a spring (GKV) and dashpot (ηKV) in parallel).

Benchmark #1c: Solve using a Maxwell power-law material description conceptually, a spring (GM) and dashpot (ηeff) in series. The dashpot has a nonlinear viscosity that depends on the second invariant of the stress tensor, σ. For these benchmarks, we assume a power law rheology with n=3, that is: 
      ηeff = ηref (σref /σ)2


  • Test relevant constitutive relations
  • Verify shear relaxation only no bulk relaxation
  • Verify that mesh geometry introduces no errors

Detailed Description:

  • Model size: 24 km by 24 km by 24 km (0 km ≤ x; y ≤ 24 km; -24 km ≤ z ≤ 0 km)
  • Maxwell elastic material properties: Poisson solid, GM = 30 GPa
  • Maxwell viscoelastic material properties: ηM = 1018 Pa-s
  • Burgers body material properties: Maxwell element as above, Kelvin-Voigt element has GKV = 10 GPa, M = 1017 Pa-s
  • Power-law material properties: ηref = 1018 Pa-s and ref = 105 Pa. (Note: This value is chosen because the maximum initial elastic stress is of order 106 Pa, only a fraction of that is deviatoric, and the deviatoric stress decreases with time.)
  • Density and Gravity: None
  • Boundary conditions:
    • Bottom pinned
    • Sides pinned in x and y; free in z
    • Top pinned in x and y; +1 m of displacement imposed in z
  • Coarse mesh node spacing: dx = dy = dz = 2 km

Requested Output and Results:

Mesh Variations: As memory, time, and patience allow, run models at 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8, etc. the original coarse mesh spacing, investigate variable mesh spacing, and/or employ a variety of element types. For All Benchmark Variations:
  • Stresses along a path through (0,0,-24) and (24,24,0) at t = 0, 1, 5, and 10 years.
  • Displacements along a path through (0,0,-24) and (24,24,0) at t = 0, 1, 5, and 10 years.
  • CPU time, wallclock time, memory usage info, compiler info, and platform info


Analytical solutions for each material rheology will be posted at

Additional Notes:

Benchmark #1 should be completed for each material rheology used in any of the benchmarking exercise.
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