Dongdong Tian

Dongdong Tian


Postdoctoral Research Associate

Michigan State University

Dongdong Tian is a seismologist. His research is directed toward understanding the structure of the Earth’s deep interior, mechanisms of seismic sources (e.g., microseismic, explosions, and collapse), and seismic wave propagation in complex media.

He received his Ph.D. degree in Geophysics from University of Science and Technology of China in 2018, advised by Prof. Lianxing Wen. Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Michigan State University, collaborating with Prof. Songqiao Shawn Wei.

He is also a big fan of open-source and serves as a core developer of the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), a widely-used software for processing and visualizing geophysical data in Earth Science, and its Python wrapper, PyGMT.


  • Structure of the Earth’s deep interior
  • Mechanisms of seismic events
  • Seismic wave progration in complex media


  • Ph.D. in Geophysics, 2018

    University of Science and Technology of China

  • BSc in Geophysics, 2012

    University of Science and Technology of China

Recent News




Inner Core Boundary

The Earth’s solid inner core grows from the solidification of the liquid outer core. The solidificaiton process releases latent heat and expels light elements, providing driving forces for the outer core convection and the geodynamo which generates the Earth’s magnetic field. The information of the Earth’s inner core boundary (ICB) is important for our understanding of the thermo-compositional state of the Earth’s core. We use seismic waves reflected from the Earth’s ICB to study the spatial and temporary changes of ICB.

North Korea Nuclear Tests

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006. Using seismological techniques, we determine their high-precison locations, yields, and source characteristics of the six nuclear tests and associated small seismic events.

Mantle Discontinuities

Seismic discontinuities in the mantle provide critical insight into thermal and compositional states of Earth’s mantle and its dynamics. The 410- and 660-km seismic discontinuities are observed globally, and are generally linked to phase transformations of olivine → wadsleyite and ringwoodite → bridgmanite + ferropericlase. The 520- and 560-km discontinuities are usually less observed and studied, and are caused by phase transformation of wadsleyite → ringwoodite, and exsolution of Ca-pv from garnet. We analyze waveforms of SS precuros recorded by global stations to investigate global variations of the 520- and 560-km discontinuities.


  • Natural Science Building, 288 Farm Lane, Room 313, East Lansing, MI 48824