We consider the finite element discretization of the system of partial differential equations describing the stress field and the displacements in a (visco)elastic inhomogeneous layered media in response to a surface load. The underlying physical phenomenon, which is modelled, is glacial advance and recession, and the resulting crustal stress state. We analyse the elastic case in more detail and present discretization error estimates. The so-obtained linear system of equations is solved by an iterative solution method with suitable preconditioning and numerical experiments are presented.
Note: Typographic corrections April 2005
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