Finite Element Models of Elasto-Plastic Deformation in Volcanic Areas

D. Scandura, G. Currenti, and C. Del Negro
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia Sezione di Catania, Catania, Italy
Published in 2008

In volcanic areas, the presence of heterogeneous materials and high temperatures affect the rheological behaviour of the Earth's crust that calls for considering the anelastic properties of the medium surrounding the magmatic sources. A thermo-mechanical numerical model is performed for evaluating the temperature dependency of the elasto-plastic solution. Both temperature distributions and ground deformation are evaluated by solving an axi-symmetric problem to estimate the effects of elasto-plastic response of the medium. The inclusion of elasto-plastic material around the magmatic source, which is geologically expected, considerably reduces, with respect to elastic models, the pressure necessary to produce the observed surface deformation.