Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-14
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-14

  18 Feb 2021

18 Feb 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

101 Geodynamic modelling: How to design, carry out, and interpret numerical studies

Iris van Zelst1,, Fabio Crameri2,, Adina E. Pusok3,, Anne Glerum4,, Juliane Dannberg5,, and Cedric Thieulot6, Iris van Zelst et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
  • 2Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), University of Oslo, Postbox 1028 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 4Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 5Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, USA
  • 6Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Geodynamic modelling provides a powerful tool to investigate processes in the Earth's crust, mantle, and core that are not directly observable. However, numerical models are inherently subject to the assumptions and simplifications on which they are based. In order to use and review numerical modelling studies appropriately, one needs to be aware of the limitations of geodynamic modelling as well as its advantages. Here, we present a comprehensive, yet concise overview of the geodynamic modelling process applied to the solid Earth, from the choice of governing equations to numerical methods, model setup, model interpretation, and the eventual communication of the model results. We highlight best practices and discuss their implementations including code verification, model validation, internal consistency checks, and software and data management. Thus, with this perspective, we encourage high-quality modelling studies, fair external interpretation, and sensible use of published work. We provide ample examples from lithosphere and mantle dynamics and point out synergies with related fields such as seismology, tectonophysics, geology, mineral physics, and geodesy. We clarify and consolidate terminology across geodynamics and numerical modelling to set a standard for clear communication of modelling studies. All in all, this paper presents the basics of geodynamic modelling for first-time and experienced modellers, collaborators, and reviewers from diverse backgrounds to (re)gain a solid understanding of geodynamic modelling as a whole.

Iris van Zelst et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on se-2021-14', Paul PUKITE, 20 Feb 2021 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on se-2021-14', Paul Tackley, 12 May 2021 reply

Iris van Zelst et al.

Iris van Zelst et al.

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Short summary
Geodynamic modelling provides a powerful tool to investigate processes in the Earth's crust, mantle, and core that are not directly observable. In this review, we present a comprehensive, yet concise overview of the modelling process with an emphasis on best practices. We also highlight synergies with related fields, such as seismology and geology. Hence, this review is the perfect starting point for anyone wishing to (re)gain a solid understanding of geodynamic modelling as a whole.