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 Earth Surface And Interior: People
Zhen  Liu's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-233
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109

Zhen Liu

  • B.S. in Geophysics, University of Science & Technology of China (1994)
  • M.S. in Solid Earth Geophysics, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences (1997)
  • PhD in Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California at Los Angeles (2003)

Research Interests
  • Investigating crustal deformation in southern California and Japan at different spatial and temporal scales using GPS and InSAR
  • Understanding neotectonics and lithosphere dynamics at convergent plate boundaries through the combination of numerical modeling approaches with data from seismology, geodesy, and geology
  • Estimating seismic hazard from tectonics and understanding earthquake dynamics


ARIA is a collaborative project between JPL and Caltech to develop data systems and data products based on radar, GPS, and seismic observations for hazard science and response.

NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, is a satellite radar mission run jointly by NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) that will survey Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surface, and ice masses.

UAVSAR, is a reconfigurable, polarimetric L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), is specifically designed to acquire airborne repeat track SAR data for differential interferometric measurements.

Selected Awards
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (2014)
  • AGU Outstanding Student Paper, Tectonophysics Section (2003)
  • UCLA Graduate Fellowship, University of California at Los Angeles (2002)
  • Dean's list of the Best Graduate, Chinese Academy of Sciences (1997)

Selected Publications
  1. Shen, Z.‐K., Z. Liu , 2020, Integration of GPS and InSAR data for resolving 3‐dimensional crustal deformation. Earth and Space Science,7, e2019EA001036.
  2. Fielding, E., Z. Liu , O. L. Stephenson, M. Zhong, C. Liang, A. Moore, S-H. Yun, M. Simons, 2020, Surface deformation related to the 2019 Mw7.1 and 6.4 Ridgecrest earthquakes in California from GPS, SAR Interferometry, and SAR Pixel Offsets, Seismological Research Letters, doi:10.1785/0220190302.
  3. Massoud, E., M. Turmon, J. Reager, J. Hobbs, Z. Liu , Cedric H. David, 2020, Cascading Dynamics of the Hydrologic Cycle in California Explored through Observations and Model Simulations, Geosciences, 10, 71, doi:10.3390/geosciences10020071.
  4. Gualandi, A., Z. Liu , C. Rollins, 2020, Post-large earthquake seismic activities mediated by aseismic deformation processes, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., 530, 115870,
  5. Liu, Z. , P.W. Liu, E. Massoud, T. G. Farr, P. Lundgren, J. S. Famiglietti, 2019, Monitoring Groundwater Change in California's Central Valley Using Sentinel-1 and GRACE Observations, Geosciences, 9, 436; doi:10.3390/geosciences9100436.
  6. Ross, Z., B. Idini, Z. Jia, O. L. Stephenson, M. Y. Zhong, X. Wang, Z. W. Zhan, M. Simons, E. J. Fielding, S. H. Yun, E. Hauksson, A. W. Moore, Z. Liu , J. K. Jung, 2019, Hierarchical interlocked orthogonal faulting in the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, Science, 366(6463), 346-351, doi:10.1126/science.aaz0109.
  7. Chen, K., Z. Liu , Y. T. Song, 2019, Automated GNSS and teleseismic earthquake inversion (AutoQuake Inversion) for tsunami early warning: retrospective and real-time results, Pure Appl. Geophys.,
  8. Luo, Y., Z. Liu , 2019b, Rate-and-state Model Casts New Insight into Episodic Tremor and Slow-slip Variability in Cascadia, Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 6352-6362. 2019GL082694
  9. Luo, Y., Z. Liu , 2019a, Slow‐slip recurrent pattern changes: Perturbation responding and possible scenarios of precursor toward a megathrust earthquake. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20. 2018GC008021
  10. Voss, N., T. H. Dixon, Z. Liu , R. Malservisi, M. Protti, S. Schwartz, 2018, Do slow slip events trigger large and great megathrust earthquakes? Science Advances, 4, eaat8472, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8472.
  11. Liang, C., Z. Liu , E. Fielding, R. Burgmann, 2018, InSAR time series analysis of L-band wide-swath SAR data acquired by ALOS-2, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2018.2821150.
  12. Yue, H., Z. Ross, C. Liang, S. Michel, H. Fattahi, E. Fielding, A. Moore, Z. Liu, B. Jia, 2017, The 2016 Kumamoto Mw = 7.0 earthquake: A significant event in a fault-volcano system. J. Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 122, 9166-9183. 2017JB014525.
  13. Y. Jiang, Z. Liu, E. Davis, S. Schwartz, T. Dixon, N. Voss, R. Malservisi, M. Protti, 2017, Strain release at trench during shallow slow slip: The example of Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, Geophysical Research Letter, 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL072803.
  14. Crowell, B., Y. Bock, Z. Liu, 2016, Single-station automated detection of transient deformation in GPS time series with the relative strength index: A case study of Cascadian slow-slip, J. Geophys. Res., 121, doi:10.1002/2016JB013542.
  15. Daout, S., S. Barbot, G. Peltzer, M. P. Doin, Z. Liu, R. Jolivet, 2016, Constraining the kinematics of metropolitan Los Angeles faults with a slip-partitioning model, Geophysical Research Letter, 43, 11,192-11,201, doi:10.1002/2016GL071061.
  16. Liu, Z., A. Moore, S. Owen, 2015, Recurrent slow slip event reveals the interaction with seismic slow earthquakes and disruption from large earthquake, Geophys. J. Int., 202, 1555-1565, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv238.
  17. Fu, Y., Z. Liu, J. Freymueller, 2015, Spatiotemporal variations of the slow slip event between 2008 and 2013 in the southcentral Alaska subduction zone, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2450-2461, doi: 10.1002/2015GC005904.
  18. Xue, L., S. Schwartz, Z. Liu, and L. Feng, 2015, Interseismic megathrust coupling beneath the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, from the joint inversion of InSAR and GPS data, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 120, doi:10.1002/2014JB011844.
  19. Farr, T., Z. Liu, 2015, Monitoring Groundwater in the Central Valley of California with Interferometric Radar, AGU Chapman Monograph for remote sensing, 397-406, doi:10.1002/9781118872086.ch24.
  20. Liu, Z., S. Owen, A. Moore, 2014, Rapid estimate and modeling of permanent coseismic displacements for large earthquakes using high-rate GPS data, Seism. Res. Lett., 85(2), 284-294, doi:10.1785/0220130174.
  21. Liu, Z., H. S. Jung, Z. Lu, 2014, Joint correction of ionosphere noise and orbital error in L-band SAR interferometry of interseismic deformation in southern California, IEEE Transactions on Geosciences and Remote Sensing, 52(6), 3421-3427, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2013.2272791.
  22. Lundgren, P., M. Poland, A. Miklius, T. Orr, S.-H. Yun, E. Fielding, Z. Liu, A. Tanaka, W. Szeliga, S. Hensley, and S. Owen (2013), Evolution of dike opening during the March 2011 Kamoamoa fissure eruption, Kılauea Volcano, Hawaii, J.  Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 118, 897–914, doi:10.1002/jgrb.50108
  23. Liu, Z., D. Dong, P. Lundgren, 2011, Constraints on time-dependent volcanic source models at Long Valley Caldera from 1996 to 2009 using InSAR and geodetic measurements, Geophys. J. Int., doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05214.x.
  24. Liu, Z., S. Owen, D. Dong, P. Lundgren, F. Webb, E. Hetland, and M. Simons, 2010, Integration of transient strain events with models of plate coupling and areas of great earthquakes in southwest Japan, 181, 1292-1312, Geophys. J. Int., doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04599.x.
  25. Liu, Z., S. Owen, D. Dong, P. Lundgren, F. Webb, E. Hetland, and M. Simons, 2010, Estimation of interplate coupling in the Nankai trough, Japan using GPS data from 1996 to 2006, Geophys. J. Int., 181, 1313-1328, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04600.x.
  26. Lundgren, P., E. Hetland, Z. Liu, and E. J. Fielding, 2009, Southern San Andreas-San Jacinto fault system slip rates estimated from earthquake cycle models constrained by GPS and interferometric synthetic aperture radar observations, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B02403, doi:10.1029/2008JB005996.
  27. Bird, P., Z. Liu, and W. K. Rucker, 2008, Stresses that drive the plates from below: Definitions, computational path, model optimization, and error analysis, J. Geophys. Res., 113, B11406, doi:10.1029/2007JB005460.
  28. Liu, Z. , and P. Bird, 2008, Kinematic modeling of the neotectonics of the Persia-Tibet-Burma Orogen, Geophys. J. Int., 172(2), 779-797, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03640.x.
  29. Bird, P., and Z. Liu, 2007, Seismic hazard inferred from tectonics: California, Seismological Research Letter, 78(1), 37-48.
  30. N.E. King, D. Argus, J. Langbein, D.C. Agnew, G. Bawden, R.S. Dollar, Z. Liu, D. Galloway, E. Reichard, A. Yong, F.H. Webb, Y. Bock, K. Stark, and D. Barseghian, 2007, Space geodetic observation of expansion of the San Gabriel Valley, California, aquifer system, during heavy rainfall in winter 2004-2005, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, B03409, doi:10.1029/2006JB004448, 2007.
  31. Liu, Z. , and P. Bird, 2006, 2-D and 3-D finite element modeling of mantle processes beneath the central South Island, New Zealand, Geophysical Journal of International, 165, 1003-1028 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.02930.x.
  32. Kagan, Y. Y., D. D. Jackson, and Z. Liu, 2005, Stress and earthquakes in southern California, 1850-2004, Journal of Geophysical Research, 110(5), B05S14, doi:10.1029/2004JB003313.
  33. A. Jin, Kei Aki, Z. Liu, V. Keilis-Borok, 2004, Seismological evidence for the brittle-ductile interaction hypothesis on earthquake loading, Earth, Planets and Space, 56, 823-830.
  34. Zaliapin, I., A. Jin, Z. Liu, K. Aki, and V.Keilis-Borok, 2004, Temporal (un)correlations between coda Q and seismicity - multiscale trend analysis, Pure and Applied Geophysics, 162, 827-841.
  35. Liu, Z. , and P. Bird, 2002b, North America plate is driven westward by lower mantle flow, Geophysical Research Letters, 29(24), 2164, doi: 10.1029/2002GL016002.
  36. Liu, Z. , and P. Bird, 2002a, Finite element modeling of neotectonics in New Zealand, Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(B12), 2328, doi:10.1029/2001JB001075.
  37. Zaliapin, I., Z. Liu, G. Zöller, V. Keilis-Borok, and D. Turcotte, 2002, On increase of earthquake correlation length prior to large earthquakes in California, Computational Seismology and Geodynamics, 33, 141-161.
  38. Gao, Y., Z. L. Wu, Z. Liu, H. L. Zhou, 2000, Seismic source characteristics of nine strong earthquakes from 1988 to 1990 and earthquake activity since 1970 in the Sichuan-Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) zone of China, Pure and Applied Geophysics, 157, 1423-1443.
  39. Bird, P., and Z. Liu, 1999, Global finite-element model makes a small contribution to intraplate seismic hazard estimation, Bulletin of Seismological Society of America, 89, 6, 1642-1647.

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