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Dr. Xiaotao Yang

Assistant Professor Dr. Xiaotao Yang

Curriculum Vitae
Associated website(s):

Google Scholar , Geodata Science Initiative , Computational Seismology and Tectonics , Geology and Geophysics , Personal Website


  • 2016  Ph.D., Geophysics, Indiana University
  • 2011  M.S., Geophysics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2008  B.S., Geophysics, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)

Research Interests

Dr. Yang is a seismologist, using seismological methods to solve geological/tectonic problems and to understand natural hazards. He is interested in a variety of research topics, including intraplate seismicity, structure and evolution of intracratonic basins and uplifts, dynamics of subduction systems, and improvements in seismic data processing methods. As a long-term interest, he aims to integrate results from multidisciplinary research fields, including geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and geodynamics in addressing tectonic questions.

Selected Honors

  • GeoPRISMS Theoretical and Experimental Institute Travel Award (2019)
  • College of Arts and Sciences Travel Award, Indiana University (2015)
  • EarthScope National Meeting Student Scholarship Travel Award (2017, 2015, 2013)

Publications - See Google Scholar for most up-to-date list

  1. Yang, X. , H. Gao (2020). Segmentation of the Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone revealed by full-wave ambient noise tomography: implications for the along-strike variation of volcanism, Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, doi: 10.1029/2020JB019677 * ne ws release by Purdue EAPS and UMASS *
  2. Gao, H., X. Yang , M. Long, and J. Aragon (2020). Seismic Evidence for Crustal Modification Beneath the Hartford Rift Basin in the Northeastern United States, Geophysical Research Letters, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL089316
  3. Lü, Z., H. Gao, J. Lei, X. Yang , S. Rathnayaka, C. Li (2019). Crustal and upper mantle structure of
    the Tien Shan orogenic belt from full-wave ambient noise tomography, Journal of Geophysical
    Research-Solid Earth
  4. Yang, X., H. Gao, S. Rathnayaka, C. Li (2019 ) . A comprehensive quality analysis of empirical Green’s functions at Ocean Bottom Seismometers in Cascadia, Seismological Research Letters, doi: 10.1785/0220180273
  5. Gilbert, H., J. Boschelli, C. Chen, X. Yang , G. Pavlis, M. Hamburger, S. Marshak, T. Larson, and J. Rupp ( in revision ). Crustal layering in the U.S. midcontinent and its role in the evolution of the Illinois Basin, Geology
  6. Yang, X. , H. Gao (2018). Full-Wave Seismic Tomography in the Northeastern United States: New Insights into the Uplift Mechanism of the Adirondack Mountains, Geophysical Research Letters , 45, * News coverage in UMass News, Phys.org, AGU GeoSpace blog *
  7. Chen, C., H. Gilbert, K. Fischer, C. Andronicos, G. Pavlis, M. Hamburger, S. Marshak, T. Larson, X. Yang (2018). Lithospheric discontinuities beneath the U.S. Midcontinent - signatures of Proterozoic terrane accretion and failed rifting, Earth and Planetary Science Letters , 481, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.10.033
  8. Yang, X. , G. Pavlis, M. Hamburger, H. Gilbert, C. Chen, S. Marshak, T. Larson, S. Carpenter (2017). Detailed Crustal Thickness Variations beneath the Illinois Basin Area: Implications for Crustal Evolution of the Midcontinent, Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth , 122, doi: 10.1002/2017JB014150 **Highlighted by the editor " Exploring hypotheses for thick crust under the Illinois Basin "**
  9. Marshak, S., S. L. Domrois, C. Abert, T. Larson, G. L. Pavlis, M. W. Hamburger, X. Yang , H. Gilbert, and C. Chen (2017), The basement revealed: Tectonic insight from a DEM of the Great Unconformity, USA cratonic platform, Geology , doi:10.1130/G38875.1
  10. Yang, X. , G. Pavlis, Y. Wang (2016). A Quality Control Method for Teleseismic P-Wave Receiver Functions, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America , 106(5), 1948–1962, doi:10.1785/0120150347
  11. C. Chen, H. Gilbert, C. Andronicos, M. Hamburger, T. Larson, S. Marshak, G. Pavlis, X. Yang (2016). Shear velocity structure beneath the central United States: implications for the origin of the Illinois Basin and intraplate seismicity. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems , doi: 10.1002/2015GC006206
  12. X. Yi, S. Wang, L. Zhang, X. Yang (2015). Crust and upper mantle structure and its relations with magma activity of the Tengchong volcanic area. Progress in Geophysics (in Chinese) , 30(3), 1034-1038, doi: 10.6038/pg20150306
  13. . Xu, J. Liu, Z. Huang, X. Yang , C. Chen (2014). Upper Mantle Velocity Structure and Dynamic Features of the Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Journal of Geophysics (in Chinese) , 57 (12), 4085-4096, doi: 10.6038/cjg20141220
  14. Yang, X. , G. Pavlis, M. Hamburger, E. Sherrill, H. Gilbert, S. Marshak, J. Rupp, T. Larson (2014). Seismicity of the Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone based on Observations from the EarthScope OIINK Flexible Array. Seismological Research Letters , 85(6), 1285-1294, doi: 10.1785/0220140079
  15. Y. Xu, X. Yang , J. Liu (2013). Tomographic Study of Crustal Velocity Structures in the Yunnan Region Southwest China. Chinese Journal of Geophysics (in Chinese) , 56(6), 1904-1914
  16. Y. Xu, X. Yang , Z. Li, J. Liu (2012). Seismic Structure of the Tengchong Volcanic Area Southwest China from Local Earthquake Tomography. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research , 239-240, 83-91
  17. Yang, X. , Y. Xu, J. Liu, Z. Li (2011). Seismic Tomography in the Tengchong Volcanic Area and Its Tectonic Implication. Chinese Journal of Geophysics (in Chinese) , 54(8), 2050-2059.

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