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Visualizing stress and strain: Using visual basic 6.0 to provide a dynamic learning environment
Reish, Nathaniel E.
Girty, Gary H.
Mellors, Robert J.
Structural geology is a fundamental course in a geology students' academic career. Subsequent courses often require an intuitive understanding of the subject. I developed both a program and a web site for visualizing the key types of structures and concepts encountered in an introductory structural geology class. The resulting program is called Visualizing Structural Geology and will operate on any PC running Windows 95, 98, 2000, or NT 4. Visualizing Structural Geology was written in Microsoft Visual Basic Version 6.0 and is broken down into two separate programs and tutorials Visualizing Stress and Visualizing Strain. The resulting code includes over 6000 lines. The programs and tutorials provide step-by-step instruction on how to use Visualizing Structural Geology to solve basic problems in stress and strain analysis. Topics covered in the interactive tutorial for stress include (1) lithostatic stress, (2) a graphical approach to understanding the stress tensor and how it relates to the definition of the principal stresses, (3) the Mohr Circle of stress, and (4) pore pressure effects on stress. Topics covered in the tutorial for strain include: (1) a graphical approach to understanding the strain transformation matrix for pure and simple shear, (2) strain animations as a way of understanding vorticity and the principle strain directions, (3) incremental versus finite strains, (4) progressive simple and pure shear, (5) strain path dependencies, (6) tools for calculating the various strain parameters such as stretch, elongation, quadratic elonga6on, and natural strain. The programs and tutorials are available through a web site published on the World Wide Web free of charge (www.geology.sdsu.edu/visualstructure/), and were partially funded by a small grant from ExxonMobil Exploration Company, Houston, Texas.
San Diego State University
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2000
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