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Finite Element Modeling of Deformation at Volcanoes

May 21-23, 2013
UNAVCO, 6350 Nautilus Drive, Boulder, Colorado
Course will begin at 8:30am on Tuesday, May 21st and will end at 5pm on Thursday, May 23rd.

Course Materials

This short course will describe how to design and construct models to describe deformation observed using geodetic methods (Global Positioning System — GPS — and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar — InSAR) at volcanic systems using the finite element method (FEM) The purpose of this workshop will be to display the powerful capabilities of this approach to the geophysical community via a user-friendly learning environment. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to design, construct, and implement FEM models that simulate changes in magma storage, which can be used in forward and inverse modeling. Students will then understand how to conduct simulations of transient post-eruption processes, including poroelastic, thermoelastic, and viscoelastic rheologies. Students will receive a bound manual of course materials. In addition, Simulia Incorporated has agreed to provide the latest version of Abaqus SE software to each student at no cost. Students should bring their own laptop computers having Windows OS, if possible.

The intended audience is graduate students or advanced undergraduate students pursuing research in volcanology. The course will be limited to a maximum of 10 students, who will be selected from a pool of applicants. Prerequisites include: (a) one year of undergraduate physics; (b) mathematics through calculus; (c) some experience with a computer programming language. Differential equations and/or linear (matrix) algebra would be helpful.

Airfare, hotel accomodations, round-trip airport shuttle and lunches will be provided for students pursuing a degree at a U.S. institution by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF award #0943965). Interested students should apply no later than midnight Monday April 29th. Applicants will be notified within a week after the deadline.


  • Tuesday morning: introduction: geodetic measurements: GPS & INSAR (Feigl)
  • Tuesday afternoon: inverse modeling using analytic models (Feigl)
  • Wednesday morning: Finite Element Method (Masterlark)
  • Wednesday afternoon: Abaqus (Masterlark)
  • Thursday all day: modeling your own volcano (Feigl & Masterlark)

Instructors: Prof. Kurt Feigl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Prof. Tim Masterlark, South Dakota School of Mines,



Last modified: 2020-04-26  15:47:06  America/Denver