The Earth’s center is as deep as 6371 kilometers, but direct observations of the Earth’s interior is limited to the top tens of kilometers. As demonstrated by previous geological and geophysical studies, physical and chemical processes in the Earth’s deep interior are the ultimate causes of all the large-scale tectonic features and phenomena observed on the surface, including mountain belts and high plateau, continental rift (like the Shanxi Graben and the Baikal rift zone) and ocean basins, as well as earthquakes (such as the ones occurred in Tangshan and Wenchuan) and volcanos like the ChangBaiShan Volcano. Therefore, understanding the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s crust and mantle is critical for improving our understanding of surface geological features, and to predict and reduce the damage from natural hazards. Among the many geoscientific techniques available for the exploration of the Earth’s interior, seismology, which uses elastic wave produced by natural and artificial source, is one of the most effective geophysical tools.
Dr. Youqiang Yu is interested in seismological studies aiming at improving our understandings of the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s crust and mantle beneath active tectonic areas such as continental rifts, active faults, volcanic areas, and subduction zones.
Youqiang is also interested in the practical side of geophysics like explorations of oil and gas. Recently, he worked with his colleagues and developed a technique that can simultaneously determine the sedimentary and crustal thickness and Vp/Vs ratio (Yu et al., 2015, JGR), which has the potential to be used in the petroleum industry for the characterization of sedimentary basins.
Currently, Youqiang’s research mainly focuses on processing data recorded by Ocean Bottom Seismometer deployed in South China Sea basin. The purpose of this study is to explore the crustal and mantle structures beneath extinct ridge based on seismological techniques such as Receiver Function, Shear Wave Splitting and Tomography.