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Faculty Profile

Yingcai ZhengYingcai Zheng

Associate Professor, Robert and Margaret Sheriff Professor in Applied Geophysics

Curriculum Vitae

Office: Science & Research 1, 129B (Office Hours: F | 2 – 5 PM)
Contact: yzheng24@central.uh.edu - 713-743-6513

Education: Ph.D., 2007, Seismology, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz.
B.S., 2001, Geophysics, Peking University


Accepting Graduate Students? Yes

  • Seismic imaging and waveform inversion
  • Reservoir geophysics: seismic characterization of fractures and fluid flow
  • Machine learning geothermal
  • Earthquake seismology and Earth's structures
  • Planetary seismology


Professional work experiences

  • Robert and Margaret Sheriff Professorship in Applied Geophysics, (9/2020–)
  • Associate Professor (9/2019), UH
  • Assistant Professor at UH (9/2014–2019)
  • Research Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2011–2014)
  • Postdocs at UCSC and MIT Earth Resources Lab (2007-2010)
  • Postdoc + Assistant Researcher UCSC (concurrent in 2010)
  • Consultant on seismic imaging, ConocoPhillips, 2008; Inte geos 2019


  • Zheng, Y. and H.Hu (2016). "Nonlinear signal comparison and high-resolution measurement of seismic or acoustic wave dispersion", PCT/US2017/038325
  • Zheng, Y. and Hao Hu (2019). “Surface Wave Prediction and Removal from Seismic Data”, PCT PCT/US2019/45391.
  • Jin, Yuesu, Nikolay Dyaur, and Yingcai Zheng (2019). Systems and methods for generating low frequency mechanical waves.

Student author * | Postdoc author **

  1. Huang, Lianjie, Mike Fehler, Zheng, and Xiaobi Xie (2020). Review article: seismic-wave scattering, imaging, and inversion, Commu. Comput. Phys., vol. 28, pp. 1-40. Doi: https://doi.org/10.4208/cicp.2020.swsii.review
  2. Tian*, Yuan, Zheng(2019). Rapid falling of an orbiting moon to its parent planet due to tidal-seismic resonance, Planetary and Space Science, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2019.104796
  3. Liu, Y., B. He, Z. Zhang, Zheng, and P. Li (2020), Reflection intensity waveform inversion, Geophysics, https://doi.org/10.1190/geo2019-0590.1191 .
  4. Liu, Y., B. He, and Y. Zheng (2020), Controlled-order multiple waveform inversion, Geophysics, https://doi.org/10.1190/geo2019-0658.1191 .
  5. Zheng, Y. and Z. Liu (2020). Concepts in the Direct Waveform Inversion (DWI) Using Explicit Time-Space Causality, Commun. Comput. Phys., vol. 28, pp.342-355, doi: https://doi.org/10.4208/cicp.OA-2018-0263.
  6. Cormier, V.F., Y.T. Tian, and Zheng(2020). Heterogeneity spectrum of Earth’s upper mantle obtained from the coherence of teleseismic P waves, Communications in Computational Physics, 28 (1), 74-79.
  7. Li, Luchen*, Y.W. Chen, Zheng, H. Hu, Jonny Wu (2019). Seismic Evidence for Plume-Slab Interaction by High-resolution Imaging of the 410-km Discontinuity Under Tonga, Geophysical Research Letters, accepted. doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL084164
  8. Ding*, Y.S., H.W. Zhou, Zheng, and Y.K.Wo (2019). Synthesis of directional wave packets from shot records, Pure and Applied Geophysics, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-019-02208-1.
  9. Lin*, R., X. Fang, Y.Gan, andZheng(2019). A damped dynamic finite difference approach for modeling static stress-strain fields, Pure and Applied Geophysics, Volume 176, Issue 9, pp 3851–3865, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-019-02207-2
  10. Hu, Hao** and Zheng(2019). Data-driven dispersive surface-wave prediction and mode separation using high-resolution dispersion estimation, Journal of Applied Geophysics, accepted. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2019.103867
  11. Martin van Driel, Savas Ceylan, John Francis Clinton, Domenico Giardini, Hector Alemany, Amir Allam, David Ambrois, Julien Balestra, Bruce Banerdt, Dirk Becker, Maren Böse, Marc S. Boxberg, Nienke Brinkman, Titus Casademont, Jérôme Chèze, Ingrid Daubar, Anne Deschamps, Fabian Dethof, Manuel Ditz, Melanie Drilleau, David Essing, Fabian Euchner, Benjamin Fernando, Raphael Garcia, Thomas Garth, Harriet Godwin, Matthew P. Golombek, Katharina Grunert, Celine Hadziioannou, Claudia Haindl, Conny Hammer, Isabell Hochfeld, Kasra Hosseini, Hao Hu, Sharon Kedar, Balthasar Kenda, Amir Khan, Tabea Kilchling, Brigitte Knapmeyer‐Endrun, Andre Lamert, Jiaxuan Li, Philippe Lognonné, Sarah Mader, Lorenz Marten, Franziska Mehrkens, Diego Mercerat, David Mimoun, Thomas Möller, Naomi Murdoch, Paul Neumann, Robert Neurath, Marcel Paffrath, Mark P. Panning, Fabrice Peix, Ludovic Perrin, Lucie Rolland, Martin Schimmel, Christoph Schröer, Aymeric Spiga, Simon Christian Stähler, René Steinmann, Eleonore Stutzmann, Alexandre Szenicer, Noah Trumpik, Maria Tsekhmistrenko, Cédric Twardzik, Renee Weber, Philipp Werdenbach‐Jarklowski, Shane Zhang, Yingcai Zheng(2019). Preparing for InSight: Evaluation of the Blind Test for Martian Seismicity. Seismological Research Letters doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220180379
  12. Hu, H**, M.Senkaya, Zheng(2019). A Novel Measurement of the Surface Wave Dispersion with High and Adjustable Resolution: Multi-Channel Nonlinear Signal Comparison, J. Applied Geophysics, 160, 236-241, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2018.11.015
  13. Li*, J.X. and Zheng(2019). Generation of a stochastic binary field that fits a given heterogeneity power spectrum, Geophysical Journal International, 217(1), 294-300, doi:10.1093/gji/ggz024.
  14. Li*, J., Zheng, L. Thomsen, T.J.Lapen, and X.Fang (2018). Deep earthquakes in subducting slabs hosted in highly anisotropic rock fabric, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0188-3.

Also see News&Views: Romanowicz, B. (2018), A deep-earthquake puzzle resolved, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0197-2.

  1. Hu**, H., Zheng, X.Fang, and M.C. Fehler (2018). 3D Seismic Characterization of Fractures with Random Spacing Using the Double Beams, Geophysics, https://doi.org/10.1190/geo2017-0739.1
  2. Liu, Y., B. He, H. Lu, Z. Zhang, X. Xie, and Zheng (2018), Full intensity waveform inversion, Geophysics, 1-62, doi:10.1190/geo2017-0682.1.
  3. Eftekhar*, R, H.Hu** and Zheng (2018). Convergence acceleration in scattering series and seismic waveform inversion using nonlinear Shanks transformation, Geophysical Journal International, ggy228, https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggy228
  4. Neese*, J.W., D.R. Jackson, Zheng, and L.A. Thomsen (2018). "TEz/TMz scalar potentials due to an arbitrarily-oriented dipole in 3D space in the presence of an infinite dielectric cylinder", Radio Science, 53, 509–524. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017RS006483
  5. Zheng, Y.(2018). Transient Pressure Surge In a Fluid-Filled Fracture, Seismol. Soc. Am., 108 (3A): 1481–1488. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170230
  6. Hu**, H. and Zheng (2018). 3D seismic characterization of fractures in a dipping layer using the double-beam method, Geophysics, V123-V134.
  7. deSilva, S., V. F. Cormier, and Zheng (2018), Inner core boundary topography explored with reflected and diffracted P waves, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 276, 202-214.
  8. Yu, C., Zheng, and X. Shang (2017), Crazyseismic: A MATLAB GUI-Based Software Package for Passive Seismic Data Preprocessing, Seismological Research Letters (2017) 88 (2A): 410-415.
  9. Zheng, Y. and H.Hu** (2017). Nonlinear signal comparison and high-resolution measurement of surface wave dispersion, Seismol. Soc. Am., 107, no.3, 1551-1556.
  10. Fang, X., Zheng, and M.C. Fehler (2017). ”Fracture clustering effect on amplitude variation with offset and azimuth analyses.” Geophysics, 82(1), N13-N25.
  11. Ding*, Y., Zheng, H.W. Zhou, M.Howell, H.Hu**, and Y.Zhang (2017). "Propagation of Gaussian Wave Packets in complex media and the application to fracture characterization", Geophys. J. Intern., Volume 210, Issue 2, 1 August 2017, Pages 1244–1251.
  12. Liu, Y, X. Liu, A. Osen, Y. Shao, H. Hu**, Zheng (2016). Least-squares reverse time migration using controlled-order multiple reflections, Geophysics, 81(5), S347-S357.
  13. Kang, P. K., Zheng, X. Fang, R. Wojcik, D. McLaughlin, S. Brown, M. C. Fehler, D. R. Burns, and R. Juanes (2016), Sequential approach to joint flow-seismic inversion for improved characterization of fractured media, Water Resour. Res., 52, 903–919, doi:10.1002/2015WR017412.
  14. Hu**,H., Y.K. Liu, Zheng, X.J. Liu, H.Y. Lu (2016). Least-squares Gaussian beam migration, Geophysics, 81(3), S87-S100. doi: 10.1190/geo2015-0328.1
  15. Zheng, Y., A.H. Malallah, M.C. Fehler, and H.Hu** (2016). ”2D full-waveform modeling of seismic waves in layered karstic media.” Geophysics, 81(2), T25-T34.
  16. Hu, H., Y. Liu, A. Osen, and Zheng (2015), Compression of local slant stacks by the estimation of multiple local slopes and the matching pursuit decomposition, Geophysics, 80(6), WD175-WD187.
  17. Liu, Y., H. Hu**, X.-B. Xie, Zheng, and P. Li (2015), Reverse time migration of internal multiples for subsalt imaging, Geophysics, 80(5), S175-S185.
  18. Zheng, Y., F. Nimmo, and T. Lay (2015). Seismological implications of a lithospheric low seismic velocity zone in Mars, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 240, 132-141, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2014.10.004.
  19. Wu, R.S. and Zheng (2014). Nonlinear partial derivative and its De Wolf approximation for nonlinear seismic inversion, Geophysical Journal International doi:10.1093/gji/ggt496.
  20. Fang, X.D., M.C.Fehler, Z.Y.Zhu, Zheng and D.R. Burns (2013). Reservoir fracture characterization from seismic scattered waves, Geophysical Journal International, ggt381.
  21. Zheng, Y., X.D. Fang, M.C.Fehler and D.R.Burns (2013). Seismic characterization of fractured reservoirs by focusing Gaussian beams, Geophysics, 78 (4), p1-6.
  22. Zheng, Y. (2013). Scale lengths of heterogeneities under Tibet, Sci., 26, 1-6.
  23. Ge, C., Y. Sun, M. N. Toksöz, Y. Zheng, Zheng, X. Xiong, and D. Yu (2012), Crustal structure of the central Tibetan plateau and geological interpretation, Earthquake Science, 25(5-6), 363-370.
  24. Lü, J., Y. Sun, M. Nafi Toksöz, Zheng, and M. T. Zuber (2011), Seismic effects of the Caloris basin impact, Mercury, Planetary and Space Science, 59(15), 1981-1991. Authors are in a-z order.
  25. Liu, Y., X. Chang, D. Jin, R. He, H. Sun, and Zheng (2011), Reverse time migration of multiples for subsalt imaging, Geophysics, 76(5), WB209-WB216.
  26. Zheng, Y., Y. He, and M. C. Fehler (2011), Crosscorrelation kernels in acoustic Green's function retrieval by wavefield correlation for point sources on a plane and a sphere, J. Int., Volume 184 (2), 853–859,
  27. Zheng, , R.-S. Wu, Y. Liu, and M. C. Fehler (2011), Seismic interferometry using non-far-field sources and removing the spurious arrival, Bull. Seismo. Soc. Am., 101(2). doi: 10.1785/0120100218.
  28. Zheng, Y. (2010). Retrieving the exact Green's function by wavefield crosscorrelation, Acoust. Soc. Am. Express Letters, 127 (3), EL93-EL98, doi: 10.1121/1.3298452.
  29. Zheng, Y. and R.S. Wu (2008). Theory of transmission fluctuations in random media with a depth-dependent background velocity structure, chapter 2 in: Earth Heterogeneity and Scattering Effects on Seismic Waves, eds. H. Sato and M. Fehler, pp. 21-41.
  30. Zheng, Y., T. Lay, M.P. Flanagan, and Q. Williams (2007). Pervasive Seismic Wave Reflectivity and Metasomatism of the Tonga Mantle Wedge, Science, Vol. 316. no. 5826, pp. 855–859, DOI: 10.1126/science.1138074.
  31. Zheng, Y. (2007), Imaging Upper Mantle Discontinuities and Earth's Small-scale Heterogeneities, Ph.D. thesis. University of California, Santa Cruz, pp. 240.
  32. Zheng, Y., R.S.Wu and T.Lay (2007), Inverting the power spectrum for a heterogeneous medium, Geophysical Journal International 168 (3), 1005–1010. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03241.x
  33. Zheng, Y., and T. Lay (2006). Low Vp/Vs ratios in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Sea of Okhotsk inferred from teleseismic pMP, sMP, and sMS underside reflections from the Moho, Geophys. Res., 111, B01305, doi:10.1029/2005JB003724.
  34. Zheng, Y., and R. Wu (2005), Measurement of phase fluctuations for transmitted waves in random media, Res. Lett., 32 , L14314, doi:10.1029/2005GL023179.
  • J. Clarence Karcher Award, 2015, from Society of Exploration Geophysicists: In recognition of exceptional research contributions to the science and technology of exploration geophysics See related news.
  • University of Houston Provost Faculty Travel Award, 2014
  • Earth Resources Lab Fellowship, MIT, 2010-2011
  • ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholar, 2006
  • Waters Award 2005 UCSC for outstanding PhD thesis proposal
  • University of California, Regents Fellowship 2003