This course is discontinued

FYS-GEO4510 – Introduction to mechanical geomodeling

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Dimensional analysis and scaling. Finite difference methods: diffusion equation in 1d and 2d; elastic wave equation in 1d and 2d; fracture. Approximation techniques: trial functions, and Galerkin’s Finite Element Formulation. Finite Element programming in Matlab: program structure; matrix elements and vectors. Laplace’s and poisson’s equations. Elasticity: plane stress; plane strain; three-dimensional solid: dynamics, thermal stress. Viscous, visco-elastic, and visco-elastoplastic rheologies. Coupling of deformation and fluid flow.

Learning outcome

  • The mathematical formulation of geomechanical problems using partial differential equations
  • Computer implementation of various numerical techniques with a focus on the finite element method as applied to heat transfer and solid/fluid mechanics
  • The theory of linear finite element method for the model parabolic, elliptic, and hyperbolic problems:
    - Approximate solution using the weak form formulation
    - Numerical interpolation, differentiation and integration
    - Isoparametric elements for multidimensional problems
    - Error analysis, stability, convergence
    - Stable discretizations and solution strategies for the incompressible Stokes problem
  • Direct and iterative methods for solving linear systems of equations
  • Basic solution strategies for coupled non-linear problems


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Courses with less than three students registrered will normally be cancelled.


Formal prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor-degree in physics, geoscience, or applied mathematics.


The course is given every spring semester and comprises 30 hours of lectures, 30 hours of computer-based exercises (compulsory submissions), and 30 hours of theoretical exercises, altogether 6 hours per week.


10 compulsory exercises (Pass/fail). In addition a final oral exam (Pass/fail).

Detailed information about examinations at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences can be found here

Facts about this course






Every spring

This course will not be offered Spring 2013. If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.


Every spring

Teaching language