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PhD student in Geophysics

University of Southern California

Advisor: Professor Yehuda Ben-Zion


I am working with Dr Yehuda Ben-Zion on rupture process within the fault zone. Currently we combine various methods to get the spatial-temporal distribution of rupture velocity. We are also interested in imaging the fault zone structure based on scattered wavefield.
• Publication:
Liu, X., & Ben-Zion, Y. (2013). Theoretical and numerical results on effects of attenuation on correlation functions of ambient seismic noise.Geophysical Journal International, in press.

M.S. thesis: Appraising the Reliability of Scattered Seismic Wavefield Imaging. Keywords: 3D imaging, error appraisal, Born Approximation, point scatterers.
• Publication:
Liu, X., & Pavlis, G. L. (2013). Appraising the reliability of converted wavefield imaging: application to USArray imaging of the 410-km discontinuity.Geophysical Journal International192(3), 1240-1254. doi 10.1093/gji/ggs088
• This is a project to appraise the reliability of scattered P-to-S wavefield imaging and study the nature of 410 km mantle discontinuity and subducted slab.
• We have implemented a program which calculates synthetic seismic data for point scatterers in radially symmetric models. Then the synthetic data are loaded into the imaging program to generate a 3D imaging volume which contains the model reconstruction. (written in C++ using SEISPP library)
(Click here to get some new figures which come after the M.Sc. thesis)

Undergraduate Thesis: Surface Wave Tomography in Italy (click here to view this thesis in Chinese)
• I applied ambient noise cross-correlation to extract empirical Green's function from 3000+ paths and stored them in a database;
• Tomography maps were produced using GMT;
• Publication:
Li, H., Liu, X., Li, X., Sheng, J., Cai, X., & Wang, T. (2011). Rayleigh wave group velocity distribution in Ningxia. Journal of Earth Science, 22(1), 117-123. doi:10.1007/s12583-011-0162-0


M.S. Degree in Geophysics, Indiana University, 2011. Advisor: Dr. Gary L. Pavlis

B.S. Degree in Geophysics, China University of Geosciences Beijing, 2009. Advisor: Dr Hongyi Li

Related course work: advanced seismology, random processes in electrical engineering, CSCI 570 Analysis of Algorithm, CSCI 571 web technologies, plate tectonics, geophysical inverse methods, mechanics in earth sciences, parallel/scientific computing, geophysical signal analysis, exploration geophysics, C++/C programming, Matlab, continuum mechanics, partial differential equations, geology

Personal life & hobby

• All that related to computer; • e.g. making Flash animations;
• Music, popular or classic; play Erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), violin, a little clarinet and piano (I'll upload some songs I played soon!); singing in a choir (Bass)
• Astronomy (amateur) and observation of constellations, stars, and deep sky objects
• Science fiction; big Harry Potter fan
• Skiing • traveling • debating


• AAPG Imperial Barrel Award program 2011 Eastern Section winner (IU team);
• Tudor Fellowship & Graduate School Fellowship, 2009, IU
• China Math Modeling Contest in Electrical Engineering 2007: First Class Prize.
• China National College Physics Contest 2006: Third Class Prize.
• Scholarship of Geophysics Major: First Class, 2006, CUGB