We study the influence of the mechanical deformation induced by a surface acoustic wave (SAW) on the resonance frequency of a defect cavity in a 2D photonic crystal membrane. Using FDTD-simulations we determine the resonance frequency and quality factor of a nanocavity of a GaAs based structure with embedded InAs quantum dots. Under the influence of a SAW, we find a periodic modulation of the cavity resonance wavelength of Δλ >2 nm accompanied by only a weak < 0.5× reduction of the Q -factor. Initial experiments for a SAW wavelength of ~ 1.8μm show a pronounced broadening of the time-integrated cavity emission line corresponding to a shift of ≥ 1 nm.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.