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Ying Zhou

Associate Professor of Geophysics
Ying Zhou
3056A Derring Hall

The primary focus of my research is to understand the structure of seismic heterogeneities in the Earth's interior. In particular, I develop finite-frequency theory for seismic wave propagation in laterally heterogeneous media and apply the theory to image high resolution seismic structure in wavespeed, anisotropy and anelasticity (Q) in the Earth by diffractional tomography.


Ph.D, Geophysics, Princeton University, 2005

At Virginia Tech Global Seismological Lab, we study seismic wave propagation in complex earth media and seismic structure of the Earth's interior. Our Main Research Interests include:

  • Seismic Wave Propagation in Heterogeneous Media
  • Global and Computational Seismology
  • Finite-Frequency Seismic Tomography
  • 3-D Anelasticity (Q) Structure in the Mantle
  • Seismic Anisotropy in the Upper Mantle and Transition Zone
  • Seismic Discontinuities in the Crust and Mantle (410 and 660)
  • Core-Diffracted Waves and Core-Mantle Boundary Structure
  • Signal Processing and Array Data Analysis

Graduate Students

  • Zhen Guo: Graduate Student in Geophysics (PhD)

Zhen is currently working on imaging the topography of seismic discontinuities in the Earth's transition zone.

Former Graduate Students

  • Youyi Ruan (PhD 2012) (Princeton University, USA)
  • Kui Liu (PhD 2014) (Yunnan University,China)
  • Kai Deng (MS 2014) (McGill University, Canada)
  • Jing Xue (MS 2014) (McGill University, Canada)

Former Undergraduate Students (REU)

  • Austin White-Gaynor
  • Kui Liu and Ying Zhou (2016). " Travelling-wave Green tensor and near-field Rayleigh-wave sensitivity ", Geophysical Journal International, 205, 134-145.
  • Kui Liu and Ying Zhou (2016). " Global Rayleigh wave phase-velocity maps from finite-frequency tomography ", Geophysical Journal International, 205, 51-66.
  • Kai Deng and Ying Zhou (2015). " Wave diffraction and resolution of mantle transition zone discontinuities in receiver function imaging ", Geophysical Journal International, 201, 2008-2025.
  • Jing Xue, Ying Zhou and Yongshun Chen (2015). " Tomographic resolution of plume anomalies in the lowermost mantle ", Geophysical Journal International, 201, 979-995.
  • Kui Liu and Ying Zhou (2013). "Effects of global crustal thickness structure on surface-wave phase delays", Geophysical Journal International, 192, 773-792.
  • Youyi Ruan and Ying Zhou (2012), "The effects of 3-D anelasticity (Q) structure on surface-wave amplitudes", Geophysical Journal International, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05356.x.
  • Ying Zhou, Qinya Liu and Jeroen Tromp (2011), "Surface-wave sensitivity: mode summation versus adjoint SEM", Geophysical Journal International, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05212.x.
  • Yue Tian, Ying Zhou, Karin Sigloch, Guust Nolet and Gabi Laske (2011), "Structure of North American mantle constrained by simultaneous inversion of multiple‐frequency SH, SS, and Love waves", J. Geophys. Res., 116, B02307, doi:10.1029/2010JB007704.
  • Youyi Ruan and Ying Zhou (2010). "The effects of 3-D anelasticity (Q) structure on surface-wave phase delays", Geophysical Journal International, 181,479-492.
  • Ying Zhou, (2009). " Surface-wave Sensitivity to 3-D Anelasticity", Geophysical Journal International, 178,1403-1410.
  • Ying Zhou (2009). "Multi-mode 3-D Surface-wave Sensitivity Kernels in Radially Anisotropic Media", Geophysical Journal International, 176, 865-888.
  • Tony Dahlen and Ying Zhou (2006). "Surface-wave group-delay and attenuation kernels", Geophysical Journal International, 165,545-554.
  • Ying Zhou, Guust Nolet, F. A. Dahlen and Gabi Laske (2006). "Global upper-mantle structure from finite-frequency surface-wave tomography", Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, B04304, doi:10.1029/2005JB003677.
  • Ying Zhou, F. A. Dahlen, Guust Nolet and Gabi Laske (2005). "Finite-frequency effects in global surface-wave tomography", Geophysical Journal International, 163, 1087-1111.
  • Ying Zhou, F.A.Dahlen and Guust Nolet (2004). "3-D sensitivity kernels for surface-wave observables", Geophysical Journal International, 158, 142-168.
  • Ying Zhou, Guust Nolet and F.A. Dahlen (2003). "Surface sediment effects on teleseismic P wave amplitude", Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, No. B8, 2471, 2002JB002331.

Undergraduate Courses

  • GEOS1004 Physical Geology
  • GEOS1034 Earth's Natural Hazards GEOS4154 Earthquake Seismology

Graduate Courses

  • GEOS5114 Theoretical Seismology
  • GEOS5254 Advanced Earthquake Seismology
  • GEOS6104 Seismic Data Analysis

Graduate Seminar Courses

  • GEOS5974 Advances in Seismic Imaging
  • GEOS5974 Advances in Geophysics (Mantle Attenuation)
  • GEOS5974 Advances in Geophysics (Deformation of Earth Materials)

Ku Liu (Ph.D)

  • Best Student Paper Award (Geophysical Journal International), 2013

Youyi Ruan (Ph.D)

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brown University, 2012.
  • AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award, San Francisco, 2011
  • College of Science Roundtable Scholarship, Virginia Tech, 2011
  • ExxonMobil Workshop Travel Grants, Houston, Texas, 2010