Laser Thermography has been reported earlier by several researchers as a tool for detecting surface breaking cracks in metals. A high energy laser (pulsed Nd-YAG) was used to produce a highly localized thermal spot from which heat diffuses (predominantly) in the radial direction. The crack that is perpendicular to the surface and close to this thermal spot will perturb the lateral heat flow and this disturbance can be observed by an IR camera. The laser spot is then scanned over a region to map the crack; this allows remote imaging of crack morphology even in elevated temperatures. The present study involves a 3D finite element simulation using COMSOL Multiphysics as a tool to simulate the thermal flow from a pulsed laser source in the proximity of a crack. The modeling helped to understand the various parameters affecting the thermal images of laser heated spots. The influence of depth of the crack on temperature changes across the crack and the relationship between crack depth and temperature changes due to the crack was simulated and subsequently validated experimentally. © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.