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Articles Tagged with Hawaii

Reconstructing the History of Earthquakes, Mountains, and Volcanoes

An interview with Mian Liu, Professor of Geological Sciences

Becoming a geologist was not the original aspiration for Mian Liu, Professor of Geological Sciences. The Chinese government assigned him to the discipline when he was 17 years old, a course of study he later followed at Nanjing University. His initial lack of interest in geology had much to do with the way the subject was taught. “The focus was not on understanding the processes; we were forced to memorize lots of facts,” he explains. Instead, Liu’s earliest interest was in physics, which “just seemed more intuitive.” He began sitting in on a variety of lectures and found that he preferred learning about geophysics, the physics of the Earth, eventually earning a Ph.D. in that area from the University of Arizona.

Audio and Video Tagged with Hawaii

Liu’s early research

From an interview with Mian Liu, Professor of Geological Sciences

Liu’s dissertation research focused on Hawaiian “hotspots” and volcanic eruptions. In his postdoctoral position, Liu studied “mantle convection,” trying to understand how the earth’s mantle flows, a force that is the “primary driving mechanism of everything we see on earth today.” When he came to MU in 1992, Liu shifted his interest once again, this time to continental dynamics.