Journal publications

(* student/postdoc as first author)

(Google ScholarResearchGate)


  • *Peng, D. & L. Liu, A newly discovered Late-Cretaceous East Asian flat slab explains its unique lithospheric, J. Geophys. Res., accepted.
  • *Peng, D., L. Liu, J. Hu, S. Li, Y. Liu, Formation of East Asian stagnant slabs due to a pressure-driven Cenozoic mantle wind following Mesozoic subduction, Geophys. Res. Lett., 48, e2021GL094638. Link.
  • *Liu, L., L. Liu & Y. Xu, Intermittent Post-Paleocene continental collision in South Asia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 48, e2021GL094531. Link.
  • *Liu, Y., Z. Wu, L. Liu, S. Yan, L. Hu, M. Ping, M. Zhang, Cenozoic structure and tectonics of North subbasins in Beibu Gulf Basin, northern South China Sea, Tectonophysics, 812, 228912. Link.
  • Liu, L., D. Peng, L. Liu, L. Chen, S. Li, Y. Wang, Z. Cao & M. Feng, East Asian lithospheric evolution dictated by multistage Mesozoic flat-slab subduction, Earth Sci. Rev., 217, 103621. Link.
  • *Liu, L.,L. Liu & Y. Xu, Mesozoic intraplate tectonism of East Asia due to flat subduction of a composite terrane slab, Earth Sci. Rev., 214, 103505. Link.


  • Wang, X., Q-F Chen, F. Niu, S. Wei, J. Ning, J. L, W. Wang, J. Buchen, L. Liu, Distinct Slab Interfaces Within the Mantle Transition Zone, Nature Geoscience, 13, 822–827. Link.
  • *Chang, C. & L. Liu, Investigating the formation of Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway using landscape evolution simulations, GSA Bull., 133, 347–361. Link.
  • Chen, L., L. Liu, F. Capitanio, T. Gerya, Y. Li, The role of pre-existing weak zones in the formation of the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau: 3-D thermo-mechanical modeling, Geophys. J. Int, 221, 1971–1983. Link.
  • *Liu, Y., L. Liu, Z. Wu, W. Lia, X. Hao, New insight into East Asian tectonism since the late Mesozoic inferred from erratic inversions of NW-trending faulting within the Bohai Bay Basin, Gondwana Research, in press.
  • Chen, L., X. Wang, X. Liang, B. Wan & L. Liu (2020), Subduction tectonics vs. plume tectonics – Discussion on driving forces for plate motions, Science China Earth Sciences, 63, Link.


  • Liu, L., The elusive mantle dynamic topography (Invited Review), Sci. China Earth Sci., doi: 10.1007/s11430-019-9562-x. Link.
  • *Liu, L., L. Liu, Y-G Xu, B. Xia, Q. Ma & M. Menzies, Development of a dense cratonic keel prior to the destruction of the North China Craton: Constraints from sedimentary records and numerical simulation, J. Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 124, 13,192–13,206. Link.
  • *Murphy, B.S., L. Liu & G.D. Egbert (2019), Insights into intraplate stresses and geomorphology in the southeastern United States, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, Link.
  • Lü, Y., J. Li, L. Liu & L. Zhao (2019), Complex uppermost mantle structure and deformation beneath the Northwest Pacific region, J. Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 124, 6866–6879. Link. 
  • *Chang, C. & L. Liu (2019), Distinct response of intraplate sedimentation to different subsidence mechanisms: insights from forward landscape evolution simulations, J. Geophys. Res.: Surface Proc., 124,doi:org/10.1029/2018JF004905. Link.
  • *Zhou, Q. &  L. Liu (2019), Topographic evolution of the western United States since the early Miocene, Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 514, 1-12. Link.


  • *Zhou, Q., J. Hu, L. Liu, T. Chaparro, D.R. Stegman, M. Faccenda (2018), Western U.S. seismic anisotropy revealing complex mantle dynamics, Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 500, 156-167. Link.
  • *Hu, J. L. Liu & Q. Zhou (2018), Reproducing past subduction and mantle flow using high-resolution global convection models, Earth & Planetary Physics, 2(3), 189-207. Link.
  • *Hu, J. L. Liu, M. Faccenda, Q. Zhou, K. Fischer, S. Marshak & C. Lundstrom (2018), Modification of the Western Gondwana craton by plume-lithosphere interaction, Nature Geoscience, 10.1038/s41561-018-0064-1. Link.

News & Views in Nature Geoscience.

  • Sun, W., L. Liu, Y. Hu, et al. (2018), Post-ridge-acceleration of the Indian plate induced by slab rollback, Solid Earth Science, 10.1016/j.sesci.2017.12.003. Link.
  • *Zhou, Q., L. Liu & J. Hu (2018), Western U.S. volcanism due to intruding oceanic mantle driven by ancient Farallon slabs, Nature Geoscience, 10.1038/s41561-017-0035-y. Link.

News & Views  in Nature Geoscience;

Research Highlight in Science.

10th Anniversary Focus  in Nature Geoscience;


  • *Zhou, Q. & L. Liu (2017), A Hybrid Forward-Adjoint Data Assimilation Approach for Reconstructing the Temporal Evolution of Mantle Dynamics, Geochem. Geophy. Geosys., 10.1002/2017GC007116. Link.
  • Kalstrom, K.E., L. Liu, Q. Zhou, L.C. Crossey, J. Thacker, R. Crow & L.S. Beard (2017), Mechanisms for post-Bouse (post-5 Ma) deformation in the lower Colorado River region. Desert Symposium, 145-149.
  • *Hu, J., M. Faccenda & L. Liu (2017), Subduction-controlled Mantle Flow and Seismic Anisotropy in South America, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 470, 13-24. Link.
  • Chen, L., F. Capitanio, L. Liu & T. Gerya (2017), Crustal Rheology Controls on the Tibetan Plateau Formation during India-Asia Convergence, Nature Communications, 8, doi:10.1038/ncomms15992. Link.


  • Liu, L. & D. Hasterok (2016), High-Resolution Lithosphere Viscosity and Dynamics Revealed by Magnetotelluric Imaging, Science, 353, 1515-1519. Link.

    Perspective in Science.

  • *Hu, J., & L. Liu (2016), Abnormal Seismogenic and Magmatic Activities in South America Controlled by the Tearing Flat Slabs, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 450, 40-51. Link.
  • *Leonard, T., & L. Liu (2016), The Role of a Mantle Plume in the Formation of Yellowstone Volcanism, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, doi:10.1002/2015GL067131. Link.
  • *Hu, J., L. Liu, A. Hermosillo, & Q. Zhou (2016), Simulation of Late Cenozoic South American Flat-Slab Subduction Using Geodynamic Models with Data Assimilation, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 438, 1-13. Link.
  • Heller, P. & L. Liu (2016), Dynamic topography and vertical motion of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region prior to and during the Laramide Orogeny, GSA Bull., doi:10.1130/B31431.1. Link.


  • Liu, L. (2015), The Ups and Downs of North America: Evaluating the Role of Mantle Dynamic Topography since the Mesozoic, Rev. Geophys., 53, doi:10.1002/2015RG000489. Link.
  • Liu, L. & J.S. Zhang (2015), Differential contraction of subducted lithosphere layers generates deep earthquakes, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 421, 98-106. Link.
  • Liu, L. & Q. Zhou (2015), Deep recycling of oceanic asthenosphere material during subduction, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL063633. Link.


  • Liu, L. (2014), Constraining Cretaceous subduction polarity in Eastern Pacific from seismic tomography and geodynamic modeling, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL061988. Link.
  • Liu, L. (2014), Rejuvenation of Appalachian topography caused by subsidence-induced differential erosion, Nature Geoscience, 7, 518-523. Link.


  • Kerry Key, S. Constable, L. Liu & A. Pommier (2013), Electrical image of passive mantle upwelling beneath the northern East Pacific Rise, Nature, 495, 499-503. Link.


  • Liu, L.(2012), Plate Tectonics: Lost sea floor, Nature Geoscience, 5, 165-167. Link.
  • Shephard, G., L. Liu, D. Muller, M. Gurnis (2012), Dynamic topography and anomalously negative residual depth of the Argentine Basin, Gondwana Research, 22, 658-663. Link.
  • Liu, L. and D.R. Stegman (2012), Origin of Columbia River flood basalt controlled by propagating rupture of the Farallon slab, Nature, 482, 386-389. Link.

     News & Views in Nature.


  • Liu, L. and D.R. Stegman (2011), Segmentation of Farallon slab, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 311, 1-10. Link.
  • Liu, S., D. Nummedal and L. Liu (2011), Tracking the Farallon plate migration through the Late Cretaceous Western U.S. Interior Basins, Geology, 39, 555-558. Link.
  • Liu, L., Y. Tan, D. Sun, M. Chen and D. Helmberger (2011), Tans-Pacific whole mantle structure, J. Geophy. Res., 116, B04306, doi:10.1029/2010JB007907. Link.


  • Shephard, G.E., R.D. Müller, L. Liu and M. Gurnis (2010), Miocene Amazon River drainage reversal caused by plate-mantle dynamics, Nature Geoscience, 3, 870-875, doi: 10.1038/NGEO1017. Link.
  • Saleeby, S., Z. Saleeby, L. Liu, G. Mahéo (2010), Mid-Cretaceous regional exhumation of the Sierra Nevada-Great Valley Batholith and a possible tectonic driving mechanism. Abstracts with Programs-Geological Society of America, 42 (4), 67.
  • Liu, L. and M. Gurnis (2010), Dynamic subsidence and uplift of the Colorado Plateau, Geology, 38(7), 663-666, doi: 10.1130/G30624. Link.

     Research Focus in Geology.

  • Liu, L. and M. Gurnis (2010), Adjoint method and its application in mantle convection, Earth Science Frontiers (INVITED; Chinese with English abstract), 17(3), 139-148. Link.
  • Liu, L., M. Gurnis, M. Seton, J. Saleeby, R.D. Müller & J. Jackson (2010), The role of oceanic plateau subduction in the Laramide orogeny, Nature Geoscience, 3, 353-357, doi: 10.1038/NGEO829. Link.


  • Liu, L. and P. Olson (2009), Geomagnetic dipole moment collapse by convective mixing in the core, Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L10305, doi:10.1029/2009GL038130. Link.
  • Spasojević, S., L. Liu & M. Gurnis (2009), Adjoint Convection Models of North America Incorporating Tomographic, Plate motion and Stratigraphic Constraints, Geochem., Geophy., Geosys. 10, Q05W02, doi:10.1029/2008GC002345. Link.


  • Liu, L., S. Spasojević & M. Gurnis, (2008), Reconstructing Farallon Plate Subduction Beneath North America back to the Late Cretaceous, Science, 322, 934-938, doi: 10.1126/science.1162921. Link.

     Perspective in Science.

  • Liu, L. and M. Gurnis (2008), Simultaneous Inversion of Mantle Properties and Initial Conditions Using an Adjoint of Mantle Convection, J. Geophy. Res., 113, B08405, doi:10.1029/2008JB005594. Link.
  • Spasojević, S., L. Liu, M. Gurnis & R.D. Müller (2008), The case for dynamic subsidence of the United States east coast over the Cenozoic, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08305,doi:10.1029/2008GL033511. Link.