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Process-based forward modelling of sedimentary basins: the SIMSAFADIM-CLASTIC approach

Abstract

Nowadays, numerical modelling is a significant tool used both by researchers and the industry in the study of sedimentary basins. It allows to quantify the simulated processes and to determine the interaction among them. One of such programs is SIMSAFADIM-CLASTIC, a 3D forward-model process-based code. During the last 10 years the program has undergone several revisions and updates to implement better modelled processes. All these processes are based in theoretical and mathematical well-founded models and implemented with the most efficient numerical techniques.

The last improvements in fluid flow, sediment transport, carbonate production, and accommodation space are presented. Relating to fluid flow, sea level variation improvement is coded. It permits a sealevel changes combining a linear trend with 3 sinusoidal trends. This feature requires taking into account the presence of subaerial areas or nodes. Therefore requires changes mainly in the initial defined boundary conditions that are used in the numerical method for fluid flow and transport model.

The limit of the number of sediments has changed and unlimited number of siliciclastic sediments and carbonate producing species now is possible. Regarding to carbonate production, existing environmental parameters (water depth and nutrients affection) are improved and two new parameters are added: the affection of flow velocity, and bottom slope. There are two ways to combine these parameters: minimal value way and multiplicative way.

New processes to generate accommodation space are included. Isostasy (using the Airy's hypothesis) and compaction of deposited sediments are modelled. Other new features are also presented, such as code parallelization using OpenMP API, standard temporal series visualization output using VTK files, and a friendly graphical user interface to generate input files.

All these updates, improvements, and new characteristics allow a more efficient program and permit to obtain more realistic results in the sedimentary basin modelling in more reasonable computational times.