In this paper we apply a material model used for years in the engineering community to simulate deformation and failure of metal components to the problem of deformation of silicate minerals in the earth’s mantle. Known as the Bammann inelastic internal state variable (BIISV) model, this formulation utilizes not only the current state (e.g., temperature, density, stress) of each material parcel to compute the current deformation rate, but it also carries along features (internal state variables) that describe the parcel’s deformational history. This history information allows the model to represent more complex modes of material deformation than models which do not include such information. This study reveals for the first time that a type of solid-state plastic deformation known as dislocation glide may well be the crucial mechanism responsible for buoyancy-driven runaway in the mantle of a planet with a mass and gravity field like that of the earth. To explore the tendency for runaway behavior we applied a 2D Cartesian version of the finite element TERRA mantle dynamics program that includes the BIISV model. We obtain BIISV parameters appropriate for the earth’s mantle from experimental measurements of the material properties of the upper mantle rock lherzolite. We find that buoyancy anomalies of plausible size yield spectacular runaway behavior when the dislocation glide mechanism is enabled.


Genesis Flood, catastrophic plate tectonics, runaway subduction, mantle rheology, computational modeling, solid-state plasticity, material model, internal state variable method


DigitalCommons@Cedarville provides a publication platform for fully open access journals, which means that all articles are available on the Internet to all users immediately upon publication. However, the opinions and sentiments expressed by the authors of articles published in our journals do not necessarily indicate the endorsement or reflect the views of DigitalCommons@Cedarville, the Centennial Library, or Cedarville University and its employees. The authors are solely responsible for the content of their work. Please address questions to dc@cedarville.edu.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.