This website offers two on-line guides to use of my programs:
"Dynamic modeling" (also called "forward
modeling") means using physics, assumed rheologies, and boundary
conditions to predict what a planet should do, according to our current
These models can sometimes be adjusted to come close to observed geodetic velocities and stress directions (et cetera), but only by trial-and-error.
"Neotectonic dynamic modeling" means using present
topography, heat-flow, and fault networks to compute velocities, fault
slip-rates, strain-rates, and stresses.
All of these results are valid when considered as long-term averages over several earthquake cycles;
the velocities and strain-rates can be easily corrected for temporary fault locking between earthquakes by a little extra computation.
Neotectonic models do NOT compute finite strain, modify the topography or lithosphere structure, or generate new faults.
(For finite strain and the evolution of topography and lithosphere structure
through geologic time, you could try my continuum dynamic modeling program Laramy.
Currently, I do not offer any program to simulate the formation of new faults.)
Shells is the only one of my dynamic modeling programs to use
spherical coordinates, and so it is the only code which is accurate for
modeling large regions or whole planets.
However, for modeling small regions, codes Plates and Faults may have a small advantage because they represent fault shapes more accurately.
If you decide to use one of these you should still read through this Guide, because most of the steps will be very similar.
(Only a few program names are different, such as DrawGrid instead of OrbWin, FillGrid instead of OrbData5, and Plates2AI or Faults2AI instead of FiniteMap or OrbMapAI.)
If you want to use geologic and paleomagnetic data to directly reconstruct
what the planet actually did,
or if you want to use geologic and geodetic and seismic data to see what the planet is actually doing, then you want to do "kinematic" modeling.
For neotectonic kinematic modeling, you should consider my program NeoKinema.
NeoKinema models lead naturally to SHIFT-based forecasts of the map of long-term seismicity;
they are also useful in seismic-hazard research because they provide improved slip-rate estimates for faults.
If you eventually choose to download any of these programs and use them, I expect you to:
Send me (email@example.com) your name, institution, e-mail address, and a few words about your intentions, so that I can add you to my distribution list for future notices.
Acknowledge the source of these programs in any proposals, seminars, or papers you may produce.