General Info

Zhong-Hai Li

(PhD, Professor)

Key Laboratory of Computational Geodynamics,

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,

Yuquan Road 19A,

Beijing, 100049, China

Phone: +86 10 88256719

E-mail: li.zhonghai(at)


2001-2005 : (B.S.), Department of Marine Geology, Tongji University, China

2005-2010 : (Ph.D.), Department of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, China

2007-2009 : (Joint Ph.D.), Institute of Geophysics, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland

2010-2012 : (PostDoc), FAST Laboratory, CNRS & University of Paris Sud XI, France

2012-2015 : (Research Fellow), Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, China

2015-Now : (Professor), College of Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Research Interests

Research direction : Computational Geodynamics

Key words :

(1) Numerical methods : numerical modeling, rheology, finite difference method, finite element method, boundary element method

(2) Subduction dynamics : subduction initiation, oceanic subduction mode, fluid-melt activity, magmatism, seismic anisotropy, Pacific subduction zones

(3) Continental collision : continental deep subduction, ultra-high pressure metamorphism, exhumation, lithosphere delamination, lateral extrusion/escape, Tibetan plateau, Tethys

(4) Basin-range coupling: foreland thrust belt, multi-decollement structure, petroliferous basin, metallogenesis

Teaching Courses

<Rheology in the Earth's Interior>

Awards & Honors

2018 : "Young Scholar Award for Earth System Sciences", Tsinghua University & Inspur Corporation 

2016 : "Excellent Young Scholar", National Natural Science Foundation of China

2015 : "Outstanding Young Scientist", Ministry of Land and Resources of China

2013 : "Outstanding Young Geologist", China Geological Survey


2019-2022 : National Natural Science Foundation of China - Key Project (91855208, PI)

2018-2021 : National Natural Science Foundation of China - Normal Project (41774108, PI)

2017-2019 : National Natural Science Foundation of China - Excellent Young Scholar Project (41622404, PI)

2017-2018:PetroChina Company - Foreland Basin Project (2016B-0501, PI)

2016-2020:Chinese Academy of Sciences - Strategic Priority Research Program B (XDB18020104, PI)

2015-2019:Ministry of Science and Technology - 973 project (2015CB856106, Major Participant)

2014-2016:National Natural Science Foundation of China - Young Scholar Project (41304071, PI)

Main Publications

( * Corresponding author )

Zhong X.Y., Li Z.H.*, (2020). Subduction initiation during collision-induced subduction transference: Numerical modeling and implications for the Tethyan evolution. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125, e2019JB019288. <>

Shi Y.N., Niu F., Li Z.H.*, Huangfu P., (2020). Craton destruction links to the interaction between subduction and mid-lithospheric discontinuity: Implications for the eastern North China Craton. Gondwana Research, 83, 49-62. <>

Zhou X., Li Z.H.*, Gerya T.V., Stern R.J., (2020). Lateral propagation induced subduction initiation at passive continental margins controlled by pre-existing lithospheric weakness. Science Advances, 6, eaaz1048. <>

Li Z.H.*, Yang S.T., Liu M.Q., Huangfu P.P., (2019). Aqueous fluid activity and its effects in the subduction zones: A systematic numerical modeling study. Earth Science, 44, 3984-3992. <>

Zhong X.Y., Li Z.H.*, (2019). Forced subduction initiation at passive continental margins: velocity‐driven versus stress‐driven. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 11054-11064. <>

Lei T., Li Z.H.*, Liu M.*, (2019). Removing mantle lithosphere under orogens: delamination versus convective thinning. Geophysical Journal International, 219, 877-896. <>

Zhou X., Xu Z.Q., Li Z.H.*, Huangfu P., Zhang J.J., (2019). Dynamics of subducting plate in the upper mantle: numerical modeling. Chinese Journal of Geophysics, 62, 2455-2465. <>

Li Z.H.*, Gerya T., Connolly J.A.D., (2019). Variability of subducting slab morphologies in the mantle transition zone: Insight from petrological-thermomechanical modeling. Earth-Science Reviews, 196, 102874. <>

Huangfu P., Li Z.H.*, Fan W., Zhang K.J., Shi Y., (2019). Continental lithospheric-scale subduction versus crustal-scale underthrusting in the collision zone: Numerical modeling. Tectonophysics, 757, 68-87. <>

Yang S.H., Li Z.H.*, (2018). A numerical calculation approach based on FEM for long-term deformation of lithosphere. Journal of Geomechanics, 24, 768-775. <>

Huangfu P., Li Z.H.*, Gerya T., Fan W., Zhang K.J., Zhang H., Shi Y., (2018). Multi-terrane structure controls the contrasting lithospheric evolution beneath the western and central-eastern Tibetan plateau. Nature Communications, 9, 3780. <>

Liu M.Q., Li Z.H.*, (2018). Dynamics of thinning and destruction of the continental cratonic lithosphere: Numerical modeling. Science China: Earth Sciences, 61, 823-852. <>

Zhou X., Li Z.H.*, Gerya T., Stern R., Xu Z., Zhang J., (2018). Subduction initiation dynamics along a transform fault control trench curvature and ophiolite ages. Geology, 46, 607-610. <>

Shi Y.N., Wei D.*, Li Z.H.*, Liu M.Q., Liu M., (2018). Subduction Mode Selection During Slab and Mantle Transition Zone Interaction: Numerical Modeling. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 175, 529-548. <>

Yang S.H., Li Z.H.*, Gerya T., Xu Z.Q., Shi Y.L., (2018). Dynamics of terrane accretion during seaward continental drifting and oceanic subduction: Numerical modeling and implications for the Jurassic crustal growth of the Lhasa Terrane, Tibet. Tectonophysics, 746, 212-228. <>

Liu M.Q., Li Z.H.*, Yang S.H.*, (2017). Diapir versus along-channel ascent of crustal material during plate convergence: Constrained by the thermal structure of subduction zones. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 145, 16-36. <>

Yang S.H., Xu Z.Q., Li Z.H.*, Shi Y.L., (2017). Constraint of impact craters on ice thickness on the Europa. Chinese Journal of Geophysics, 60, 935-940. <>

Li Z.H.*, Liu M., Gerya T., (2016). Lithosphere delamination in continental collisional orogens: A systematic numerical study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 121, 5186-5211. <>

Li Z.H.*, Shi Y.L., (2016). Constraints of 3-D plate geometry on the dynamics of continental deep subduction. Chinese Journal of Geophysics, 59, 2806-2817. <>

Li Z.H.*, (2016). Applications of boundary-element method in computational geodynamics. Journal of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 33, 89-96. <>

Peng M., Jiang M., Li Z.H.*, Xu Z., Zhu L., Chan W., Chen Y., Wang Y., Yu C., Lei J., Zhang L., Li Q., Xu L., (2016). Complex Indian subduction style with slab fragmentation beneath the eastern Himalayan Syntaxis revealed by teleseismic P-wave tomography. Tectonophysics, 667, 77-86. <>

Li Z.H.*, Xu Z.Q., (2015). Dynamics of along-strike transition between oceanic subduction and continental collision: Effects of fluid-melt activity. Acta Petrologica Sinica, 31, 3524-3530. <>

Li Z.H.*, Liu M.Q., Gerya T., (2015). Material transportation and fluid-melt activity in the subduction channel: numerical modeling. Science China: Earth Sciences, 58, 1251-1268. <>

Li Z.H.*, Di Leo J.F., Ribe N.M., (2014). Subduction-induced mantle flow, finite strain and seismic anisotropy: Numerical modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119, 5052-5076. <>

Li Z.H.*, (2014). A review on the numerical geodynamic modeling of continental subduction, collision and exhumation. Science China: Earth Sciences, 57, 47-69. <>

Li Z.H.*, Xu Z.Q., Gerya T.V., Burg J.P., (2013). Collision of continental corner from 3-D numerical modeling. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 380, 98-111. <>

Li Z.H.*, Ribe N.M., (2012). Dynamics of free subduction from 3-D Boundary-Element modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 117, B06408. <>

Li Z.H.*, Xu Z.Q., Gerya T.V., (2012). Numerical geodynamic modeling of continental convergent margins. In: Earth Sciences, Ed. Imran Ahmad Dar, Pub. InTech, pp. 273-296. <>

Li Z.H.*, Xu Z.Q., Gerya T.V., (2011). Flat versus steep subduction: contrasting modes for the formation and exhumation of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental collision zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 301, 65-77. <>

Li Z.H.*, Gerya T.V., Burg J.P., (2010). Influence of tectonic overpressure on P-T paths of HP-UHP rocks in continental collision zones: Thermomechanical modeling. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 28, 227-247. <>

Li Z.H.*, Gerya T.V., (2009). Polyphase formation and exhumation of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental subduction zone: Numerical modeling and application to the Sulu ultrahigh-pressure terrane in eastern China. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 114, B09406. <>


Other publications:

GoogleScholar: <>

Open Positions

(1) MSc and PhD thesis projects

Students with background of geophysics, structural geology or computational mathematics, etc, are wellcome.

(2) Postdoc research projects

PhDs (candidates) on computational geodynamics are wellcome. The postdoc positions in our university include three levels with different but highly competitive salaries: general postdoc, UCAS research assistant, CAS research assistant. Please contact for more details if interested.