Three-dimensional elasto-plastic soil modelling and analysis of sauropod tracks

Sanz Pérez, Eugenio and Arcos Alvarez, Antonio Alfonso and Pascual, Carlos and Menéndez Pidal de Navascués, Ignacio (2016). Three-dimensional elasto-plastic soil modelling and analysis of sauropod tracks. "Acta Palaeontológica Polónica", v. 61 (n. 2); pp. 387-402. ISSN 0567-7920. https://doi.org/10.4202/app.00098.2014.

Description

Title: Three-dimensional elasto-plastic soil modelling and analysis of sauropod tracks
Author/s:
  • Sanz Pérez, Eugenio
  • Arcos Alvarez, Antonio Alfonso
  • Pascual, Carlos
  • Menéndez Pidal de Navascués, Ignacio
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Acta Palaeontológica Polónica
Date: 2016
ISSN: 0567-7920
Volume: 61
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: Sauropoda, ichnology, 3D, mathematical simulation, elasto-plastic model, soil mechanics, Spain, Miraflores tracksite
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Caminos, Canales y Puertos (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería y Morfología del Terreno
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

This paper reports the use of FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to model dinosaur tracks. Satisfactory reproductions of sauropod ichnites were simulated using 3D numerical models of the elasto-plastic behaviour of soils. Though the modelling was done of ichnites in situ at the Miraflores I tracksite (Soria, Spain), the methodology could be applied to other tracksites to improve their ichnological interpretation and better understand how the type and state of the trodden sediment at the moment the track is created is a fundamental determinant of the morphology of the ichnite. The results obtained explain why the initial and commonly adopted hypothesis—that soft sediments become progressively more rigid and resistant at depth—is not appropriate at this tracksite. We explain why it is essential to consider a more rigid superficial layer (caused by desiccation) overlying a softer layer that is extruded to form a displacement rim. Adult sauropods left trackways behind them. These tracks could be filled up with water due to phreatic level was close to the ground surface. The simulation provides us with a means to explain the differences between similar tracks (of different depths; with or without displacement rims) in the various stratigraphic layers of the tracksite and to explain why temporary and variable conditions of humidity lead to these differences in the tracks. The simulations also demonstrate that track depth alone is insufficient to differentiate true tracks from undertracks and that other discrimination criteria need to be taken into account. The scarcity of baby sauropod tracks is explained because they are shallow and easily eroded.

More information

Item ID: 45930
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/45930/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:45930
DOI: 10.4202/app.00098.2014
Official URL: https://www.app.pan.pl/article/item/app000982014.html
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 25 May 2017 13:21
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 13:21
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