A hybrid finite element-spectral boundary integral approach: Applications to dynamic rupture modeling in unbounded domains

Xiao Ma, Setare Hajarolasvadi, Gabriele Albertini, David S. Kammer, Ahmed E. Elbanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The finite element method (FEM) and the spectral boundary integral method (SBI) have both been widely used in the study of dynamic rupture simulations along a weak interface. In this paper, we present a hybrid method that combines FEM and SBI through the consistent exchange of displacement and traction boundary conditions, thereby benefiting from the flexibility of FEM in handling problems with nonlinearities or small-scale heterogeneities and from the superior performance and accuracy of SBI. We validate the hybrid method using a benchmark problem from the Southern California Earthquake Center's dynamic rupture simulation validation exercises.We further demonstrate the capability and computational efficiency of the hybrid scheme for resolving off-fault heterogeneities by studying a 2D in-plane shear crack in two different settings: one where the crack is embedded in a high-velocity zone and another where it is embedded in a low-velocity zone. Finally, we discuss the potential of the hybrid method for addressing a wide range of problems in geophysics and engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-338
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019



  • dynamic fracture
  • earthquakes
  • finite element
  • spectral boundary integral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials

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