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2013-2018 PyLith Dev Plans

PyLith Development Plans

Software development plans for PyLith

Version 1.8.1 (by mid-late April)


  • Improve solver for rate-state friction and explicit time stepping. difficult (50%)
  • Remove duplicate impulses in parallel Green’s function simulations. done

Version 2.0 (by June workshop)


  • Replace Sieve implementation of finite-element data structures with more efficient !DMPlex implementation. expert (80%)
     !DMPlex implementation is better integrated within !PETSc. Smaller memory usage. Developed to support multiphysics and higher order discretizations.
  • Higher order basis functions expert (0%)
    Allow user to select order of basis functions independent of the mesh (which defines the geometry). This permits higher resolution for a given mesh.

Version 2.1 (Fall or Winter 2013)


  • Earthquake cycle modeling difficult
    Same mesh for dynamic and quasi-static parts (dynamic -> quasi-static, quasi-static -> dynamic, complete cycle)


  • Create strain hardening/softening 2-D and 3-D Drucker-Prager elastoplastic models. intermediate
  • Attenuation via generalized Maxwell model (bulk and shear relaxation) intermediate (50%)
  • Moment tensor point sources via equivalent body forces difficult (5%)
    Moment tensor point sources provide a mesh independent deformation source that is better suited for Green’s function calculations than slip on a fault surface via cohesive cells.

Candidate Features for Version 2.2 (Spring 2014)


  • Multiphysics
    1. Incompressible elasticity via a pressure field expert
    2. Elasticity + heat flow expert
    3. Elasticity + fluid flow expert


  • Time-step based on strain rate intermediate
  • Accelerate FE integrations using !GPUs expert (5 %)
    Will provide significant speedup to simulations run by many users because most are running on desktop machines that have GPUs.

Features for Future Releases


  • Earthquake Cycle Modeling
    1. Different meshes for dynamic and quasi-static parts expert
      Requires interpolation of fields between different meshes/discretizations and may require extrapolation of solutions when quasi-static problems span a larger domain than the dynamic problems.


  • Use KD tree search algorithm to allow output of time histories at an arbitrary location difficult
  • Combined prescribed slip / spontaneous rupture fault condition difficult
    Use fault constitutive model to control slip on fault except during episodes of prescribed slip. Need some way to describe when to turn on/off prescribed slip.
  • Use threading to accelerate integrations on multi-core machines. difficult

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