Benchmark Description

January 25, 2007

Benchmark problem description. Formerly known as benchmark 5b.


Viscoelastic (Maxwell) relaxation of stresses from a single, finite, reverse-slip earthquake in 3-D without gravity. Evaluate results with imposed displacement boundary conditions on a cube with sides of length 24 km. The displacements imposed are the analytic elastic solutions. Symmetry boundary conditions are imposed at y = 0, so the solution is equivalent to that for a domain with a 48 km length in the y direction.

Problem Specification

Model size
0 km ≤ x ≤ 24 km; 0 km ≤ y ≤ 24 km; -24 ≤ z ≤ 0 km
Top layer
-12 km ≤ z ≤ 0 km
Bottom layer
-24 km ≤ z ≤ -12 km
Material properties
The top layer is nearly elastic whereas the bottom layer is viscoelastic.
Poisson solid, G = 30 GPa
Maxwell linear viscoelasticity
Top layer
η = 1.0e+25 Pa-s (essentially elastic)
Bottom layer
η = 1.0e+18 Pa-s

Fault specifications

45 degree dipping reverse fault.
Strike parallel to y-direction with top edge at x = 4 km and bottom edge at x = 20 km. 0 km ≤ y ≤ 16 km; -16 km ≤ z ≤ 0 km
Slip distribution
1 m of uniform thrust slip motion for 0 km ≤ y ≤ 12 km and -12 km ≤ z ≤ 0 km with a linear taper to 0 slip at y = 16 km and z = -16 km. In the region where the two tapers overlap, each slip value is the minimum of the two tapers (so that the taper remains linear).

Boundary conditions

Bottom and side displacements set to analytic solution. (Note: the side at y = 0 km has zero y- displacements because of symmetry.) Top of the model is a free surface.


The model should be discretized with nominal spatial resolutions of 1000 m, 500 m, and 250 m. If possible, also run the models with a nominal spatial resolution of 125 m. Optionally, use meshes with variable (optimal) spatial resolution with the same number of nodes as the uniform resolution meshes.

Element types

Linear and/or quadratic and tetrahedral and/or hexahedral.

Requested Output


Displacements at all nodes at times of 0, 1, 5, and 10 years as well as the mesh topology (i.e., element connectivity arrays and coordinates of vertices) and basis functions.

June 30, 2006
Use ASCII output for now. In the future we will switch to using HDF5 files.


  • CPU time
  • Wallclock time
  • Memory usage
  • Compiler and platform info


Okada routines are available to generate an elastic solution. The ‘best’ viscoelastic answer will be derived via mesh refinement. Analytical solutions to the viscoelastic solution are being sought if anyone has information.

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