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0km Extension
45Km (10%) Extension
90Km (20%) Extension
157.5Km (35%) Extension
225Km (50%) Extension
315Km (70%) Extension

This image shows results of a coupled model with high angle fault weakness

Ellispis is a lagrangian particle-in-cell finitie element modelling software tool with an associated graphical user interface (GUI). Ellipsis, along with its GUI and its associated documentation allow novice users to assemble 2D or 3D numerical experiment for lithospheric extension and/or compression over a convecting mantle or simply run a mantle convection experiment with or without continents in a relatively short time, including the scaling of relevant parameters.

Ellipsis GUI

This image shows the Ellipsis GUI and demonstrates the ease with wich a user may create a geodynamic model.


Previous studies have suggested that the rheological and thermal profiles of the lithosphere play the most important role in rift mode determination. Modelling carried out here using Ellipsis illustrate that initial weaknesses could play a major role in rift mode determination, highlighting the need to make initial weaknesses a primary consideration when modelling the extensional deformation of the lithosphere.

Click here to view images and movies of lithospheric extension.

Click here to download Ellipsis and/or the Ellipsis GUI pdfnewicon.png


Dyksterhuis, S., P. Rey, R. D. Müller, L. Moresi 2006. "Initial Weakness Controls on Rift Architecture: Implications for the Iberian-Newfoundland Margin," IMEDL.pdfnewicon.png

O'Neill, C., Moresi, L., Müller, R.D., Albert, R. and Dufour, F., 2006, "Ellipsis 3D: a particle-in-cell finite element hybrid code for modelling mantle convection and lithospheric deformation." Journal of Computers and Geosciences, 32, 1769-1799.pdfnewicon.png

Dyksterhuis, S., R. D. Müller, et al. (in review). "A Graphical User Interface for Particle-in-Cell Finite Element Analysis of lithospheric deformation and mantle convection in two dimensions." Journal of Computers and Geosciences.pdfnewicon.png

Posters and Presentations

Dyksterhuis, S., R. D. Müller, P. Rey. "Ellipsis ... Geodynamic Modelling for the Masses." Poster at the 2005 Fall AGU Meeting, San Fransisco.pdfnewicon.png


Click here to visit the Ellipsis pages at Monash