Remote sensing, Planetary surface processes; Earth Impact craters
Impact cratering, Crater chronology, Earth Impact Craters, Tektites, Dark spots, Mercury, Moon
Structural Geology, Planetary Surface Processes
Recruit graduate students direction:
Currently, my researches are focued on the three following subjects.
1) Impact craters on planetary surfaces [NSFC supported]
As the most important geologic process on planetary bodies including the Earth, impact cratering is a definite beauty because of its enourmous energy and scale. The physical processes related with impact cratering are amazing and intriguing. Thinking about building the Dabie Mountain has cost how many millions of years, but forming a even larger mountain belt just takes less than 5 minutes by impact cratering. Rock vaporization, melting, strong metamorphism, and deformation all literally occur in less than a blink during impact cratering.
My target is to understand details about the physical processes related with impact cratering. Besides some numerical modelling work using the iSALE hydrocode (http://www.isale-code.de/), most of my researches are related with the morphology and topography of impact craters on various bodies. Since impact velocity, target properties, surface gravity are different on difrerent planetary bodies, the morphological and topography differences of impact craters on different bodies reveal the contribution of different factors in the cratering process. These observations are the ONLY ground truth, which provides direct guildlines for impact modeling and simulations.
Here are some projects that I am now studying:
(1) Controlling factors on ejection angles: secondary craters on continuous secondaries facies typically have very irregular shapes on all planetary bodies. However, many impact craters on Mercury (Xiao et al., 2014) and three impact basins on the Moon (Zhou et al., 2015) have abnormally circular secondaries, such as the ones shown in the image below. What is the reason for the abnormally larger ejection angles? My students and me are now collecting such craters on Mercury and other bodie. We will quantitatively constrain this special morphology and distribution characteristics using ArcMap, USGS ISIS, ENVI, and other image processing softwares. Together with topography, gravity, crustal thickness, reflectance spectra data, we will try to decode the major factor controlling ejection angles.
(2) Formation mechanism of central pits in impact craters: Central pits are frequently observed on Mars and icy satelliates, therefore these topography depressions are attributed to the effect of target/projectile properties on crater formation. However, we recently found impact craters on both Mercury and the Moon have such features (see the image below), and they are not even smaller compared with those on Mars and icy satelliates. What are their formation mechanism? We are studying the morphology and size of such features on different bodies. Together with their background geology, we will try to constrain the fundamental process that has formed the depression.
(3) Emplacement of crater ejecta: impact cratering moblizes a lot materials: The major events during the excavation stage are well constrained (see the image below), but they are still too rough to explain detailed observations (e.g., crater rays). The morphology and size of different crater exterior deposits are the key to understand this process. Studying crater ejecta on different airless bodies such as Mercury, the Moon, and 4Vesta would reveal the emplacement dynamics and sequence of ejecta; considering those on Mars and Venus would further shade light on the interation of atmosphere and high-velocity ejecta.
Students who are interested on the above three projects should have at least one of the following backgrounds: GIS, image processing, hydrocode simulation. MATLAB and USGS ISIS are the required software for the research. I encourage interested students to pursue a Ph. D study on this subject.
2) Possible impact craters in China [CUG supported]
Impact cratering and plate tectonics are the two major discoveries in terrestrial geology in the 20th century. Almost every discepline of Earth sciences is eventually related with regional or global plate tectonics. The importance of impact cratering in Earth evolution, however, has not been widely appreciated among Earth geologists. Impact cratering as the most important geologic process has demonstrated itself if you have ever taken a look at the Moon during a clear night. The lunar highland has been saturated by craters larger than 100 km in diameter. The Earth has experienced the same record of impact cratering as the Moon, only that way much more craters and much larger craters have formed on the Earth. Think about this, craters >100 km diameters have once covered EVERY corner of the Earth. Thanks to impact cratering, we human beings can actually live on this planet after the dinosaurs were wiped out by an ~180 km diameter crater. However, such scale impact cratering will definetly occur on the Earth again, and it won't be just once! If the impact point will be at CUG, where can you hide from this?
As an Earth and planetary geologists, I deeply agree on the importance of impact cratering to Earth geology. I am shocked and shamed when saw that only 1 of the 192 confirmed impact craters is located at China (as of June 28th 2018), and it was only confirmed in the 21st centrury. China do record a complicated geology history so that modification, deformation, and erosion are serious everywhere. But isn't that a typical phenomea everywhere? Isn't that the beauty of science?
I am funded by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan）to study Earth impact craters in China. Right now, we are calibrating the theoretical number of different sized-craters that must have formed in China, and the theoretical number of craters should be remained. We have done several field trips to investigate candidate examples, and a lot interesting findsing are revealed.
Students who are interested on the this project should have at least two of the following backgrounds: petrology, structural geology, GIS. Field trip is needed, and currently we only consider male students for this project. I encourage interested students to pursue a Ph. D study on this subject.
3) Other planetary surface processes [NSFC Supported]
I am aslo deeply engaing in other researches regarding planetary surface processes. The mystery dark spots on Mercury (Xiao et al., 2013, JGR), small graben system and recent igneous intrusion on the Moon (Xiao et al., 2017, Icarus), cooling fractures in impact melt and columnar joints in planetary basalts (Xiao et al., 2014, JGR), crater equilibrium level for Imbrian and Eratosthnian epoches on the Moon (Xiao et al., 2015, JGR) are my current and recent researches. GIS, USGS ISIS, matlab simulations are required on these subjects.
I believe that hard working is the only way to realize oneself. Being serious of any work is the only way to establish oneself. Therefore, I have strict requirement on myself, of course on students as well.
Accepting the concept of science and humanity, I see students as my collaborator, not apprentices. Being able to archive mutual equality is the only criteria when I make friends and recruit students.
should always emphasize on pure science. However, knowing that the
economic basis determines superstructure, I always try to relate my
researches to 'real' job skills. I particularly focus on training myself
in processing and analyzing data, especially practice my logic flow
whenever encountering different issues.
2010/09-2012/09 LUNAR AND PLANETARY LABORATORY, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, U.S., Planetary geology
2008/09-2013/12 CHINA UNIVERSITY OF GEOSCIENCES (WUHAN), Planetary Geology [Ph.D]
2004/09-2008/07 CHINA UNIVERSITY OF GEOSCIENCES (WUHAN), Computer Science [Bachelor]
2006/03-2008/07 HUAZHONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Engligh [Bachelor]
Grants, Fellowships and Awards:
2015/01 – 2017/12: Effect of target volatiles on ejection angles: Indications from the morphology and distribution of secondary craters on Mercury. National Natural Science Foundation of China. Fund: RMB 250,000. Project Number: 41403053. Principle Investigator.
2018/01–2020/12: Impact structures in China and crater chronology. Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan). Project Number: CUG180601. Fund: RMB 450,000. Principle Investigator.
2018/01–2021/12: The formation mechanism of dark spots on Mercury. National Natural Science Foundation of China. Fund: RMB 690,000. Project Number: 41773063.Principle Investigator.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Hangyu Fan, Zuoxun Zeng, and Guangming Dai. 2009. The Application of Shadow Moiré Method and GIS in the Three-dimensional Reconstruction of Stylolities. Journal of Jilin University (Earth Science Edition) (in Chinese). 39 (3): 555–558.
肖智勇*，樊航宇，曾佐勋，戴光明. 影像云纹法及GIS在缝合线三维重构中的应用. 2009.吉林大学学报（地球科学版）, 39 (3), 555–558.
· Hangyu Fan, Zhiyong Xiao, and Zuoxun Zeng. 2009. Three-dimensional morphology model and provenance of stylolites in Tieshan Area, Daye City. Geoscience (in Chinese). 23 (3), 447–455.
樊航宇，肖智勇，曾佐勋. 湖北大冶铁山地区缝合线三维形态模拟及其成因分析.现代地质. 2009. 23 (3), 448–455.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng. New Progress of research on the lunar magnetic field. Chinese J. Geophys. (in Chinese), 2010, 25(3): 804–808,doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1004-2903.2010.03.010.
肖智勇*，曾佐勋. 月球磁场研究新进展. 地球物理学进展. 25(3): 804–808, doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1004-2903.2010.03.010.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng, Long Xiao, Wenzhe Fa, and Qian Huang. 2010. Origin of pit chains in the floor of lunar Copernican craters. Science China Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy, 53(12): 2145–2159. DOI: 10.1007/s11433-010-4174-z.
肖智勇*，曾佐勋，肖龙，法文哲，黄倩. 月球哥白尼纪撞击坑底部链状坑的成因.中国科学：物理学 力学 天文学. 2010, 40 (11), 1326–1342.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng. The effect of lunar-dust movement to the lunar magnetic field. Chinese J. Geophys. (in Chinese), 2012, 27(2): 522–527,doi: 10.6038/j.issn.1004-2903.2012.02.015.
肖智勇*，曾佐勋. 带电月尘活动对月球磁场的影响. 地球物理学进展. 2012, 27(2): 522–527, doi: 10.6038/j.issn.1004-2903.2012.02.015.
· David T. Blewett, Nancy L. Chabot, Brett W. Denevi, Carolyn M. Ernst, James W. Head, Noam R. Izenberg, Scott L. Murchie, Sean C. Solomon, Larry R. Nittler, Timothy J. McCoy, Zhiyong Xiao, David M. H. Baker, Caleb I. Fassett, Sarah E. Braden, Jürgen Oberst, Frank Scholten, Frank Preusker, Debra M. Hurwitz. 2011. Hollows on Mercury: MESSENGER Evidence for Geologically Recent Volatile-Related Activity. Science, 333: 1856–1859.
· James W. Head, Clark R. Chapman, Robert G. Strom, Caleb I. Fassett, Brett W. Denevi, David T. Blewett, Carolyn M. Ernst, Thomas R. Watters, Sean C. Solomon, Scott L. Murchie, Louise M. Prockter, Nancy L. Chabot, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, Jennifer L. Whitten, Timothy A. Goudge, David M. H. Baker, Debra M. Hurwitz, Lillian R. Ostrach, Zhiyong Xiao, William J. Merline, Laura Kerber, James L. Dickson, Jürgen Oberst, Paul K. Byrne, Christian Klimczak, Larry R. Nittler. 2011. Flood Volcanism in the Northern High Latitudes of Mercury Revealed by MESSENGER. Science, 333: 1853–1856.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, and Robert G. Strom. Problems determining relative and absolute ages using the small crater population. Icarus, 2012, 220(1), 254–267, doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2012.05.012.
· David T. Blewett, William M. Vaughan, Zhiyong Xiao, Nancy L. Chabot, Brett W. Denevi, Carolyn M. Ernst, Jörn Helbert, Mario D'Amore, Alessandro Maturilli, James W. Head, Sean C. Solomon. 2013. Mercury's hollows: Constraints on formation and composition from analysis of geological setting and spectral reflectance. Journal of Geophysics Research, 118, 1–20, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004174.
· Debra M. Hurwitz, James W. Head, Paul K. Byrne, Zhiyong Xiao, Sean C. Solomon, Maria T. Zuber, David E. Smith, and Gregory A. Neumann. 2012. Investigating the origin of candidate lava channels on Mercury observed in MESSENGER data: Theory and observations. Journal of Geophysics Research, 118, 471–486, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004103.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng¸Ning Ding, Jamie Molaro. 2013. Mass wasting on the Moon: How active is the lunar surface? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 376, 1–11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2013.06.015.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Robert G. Strom, David T. Blewett, Paul K. Byrne, Sean C. Solomon, Scott L. Murchie, Ann L. Sprague, Deborah L. Domingue, Jörn Helbert. 2013. Dark spots on Mercury: A distinctive low-reflectance material and its relation to hollows. Journal of Geophysics Research, 118, 1752–1765, doi: 10.1002/jgre.20115.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Goro Komatsu. 2013. Impact craters with ejecta flows and central pits on Mercury. Planetary and Space Science, 82, 62–78, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.03.015.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Goro Komatsu. 2013. Reprint of: Impact craters with ejecta flows and central pits on Mercury. Planetary and Space Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.07.001.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Robert G. Strom, Zuoxun Zeng. 2013. Mistakes in using crater size-frequency distributions to estimate planetary surface ages. Earth Science (in Chinese), 38 (1), 145–160, doi: 10.3700/dqkx.2013.S1.000.
肖智勇*，Robert G. Strom, 曾佐勋. 2013. 撞击坑统计技术在行星表面定年的应用中的误区. 地球科学，38 (1), 145–160, doi: 10.3700/dqkx.2013.S1.000.
· Qian Huang, Zhiyong Xiao, Long Xiao. 2013. Ancient primary crust beneath the Aristarchus Plateau: Constraints from gravity and topography data. Planetary and Space Science, 89, 189–193, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.09.016.
· Qian Huang, Long Xiao, Jinsong Ping, Zhiyong Xiao, Le Qiao, Jiannan Zhao. Density and lithospheric thickness of lunar shield volcano: Marius Hills (in Chinese). Science China Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy, 2013, 43(11), 1395–1402.
黄倩，肖龙，平劲松，肖智勇，乔乐，赵建楠. 月球Marius Hills盾形火山密度和岩石圈弹性厚度. 中国科学: 物理学 力学 天文学. 2013, 43(11), 1395–1402.
· Timothy A. Goudge, James W. Head, Laura Kerber, Noam R. Izenberg, David T. Blewett, Brett W. Denevi, Deborah L. Domingue, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, Jörn Helbert, Gregory M. Holsclaw, William E. McClintock, Scott L. Murchie, Gregory A. Neumann, Mark S. Robinson, David E. Smith, Robert G. Strom, Zhiyong Xiao, Maria T. Zuber, and Sean C. Solomon. 2014. Global Inventory and Characterization of Pyroclastic Deposits on Mercury: New Insights into Pyroclastic Activity from MESSENGER Orbital Data. Journal of Geophysics Research, in press, doi: 10.1002/2013JE004480.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng, Goro Komatsu. 2014. A global inventory of central pit craters on the Moon: Distribution, morphology, and geometry. Icarus, 227, 195–201.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Robert G. Strom, Clark R. Chapman¸ James W. Head, Christian Klimczak, Lillian R. Ostrach, Jörn Helbert, Piero D'Incecco. 2014. Comparisons of fresh complex impact craters on Mercury and the Moon: Implications for controlling factors in impact excavation processes. Icarus, 228, 260–275, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.10.002.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng, Zhiyong Li, David Blair, Long Xiao. 2014. Cooling fractures in impact melt deposits on the Moon and Mercury: Indications of cooling solely by thermal radiation. Journal of Geophysics Research, 119, 1496–1515, doi:10.1002/2013JE004560.
· Qian Huang, Zhiyong Xiao, Long Xiao. 2014. Subsurface structures of large volcanic complexes on the nearside of the Moon: A view from GRAIL gravity. Icarus, 243, 48–57.
· Robert G. Strom, Renu Malhotra, Zhiyong Xiao, Takashi Ito, Fumi Yoshida, Lillian R. Ostrach. 2015. The inner solar system cratering record and the origin of the impacting objects. Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 15, 407–434.
· Maria Teresa Brunetti, Zhiyong Xiao, Goro Komatsu, Silvia Peruccacci, Fausto Guzzetti. 2015. Large rock slides in impact craters on the Moon and Mercury. Icarus, 260, 289 - 300, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.07.014.
· Maria E. Banks, Zhiyong Xiao, Thomas R. Watters, Robert G. Strom, Sarah E. Braden, Clark R. Chapman, Sean C. Solomon, Christian Klimczak, Paul K. Byrne. 2015. Duration of activity on lobate-scarp thrust faults on Mercury. Journal of Geophysics Research, 120(11), 1751-1762, doi:10.1002/2015JE004828.
· Long Xiao, Peimin Zhu, Guangyou Fang, Zhiyong Xiao, Yongliao Zou, Jiannan Zhao, Na Zhao, Yuefeng Yuan, Le Qiao, Xiaoping Zhang, Hao Zhang, Jiang Wang, Jun Huang, Qian Huang, Qi He, Bin Zhou, Yicai Ji, Qunying Zhang, Shaoxiang Shen, Yuxi Li, Yunze Gao. 2015. A young multilayered terrane of the northern Mare Imbrium revealed by Chang’E-3 mission. Science, 347 (6227), 1226–1229.
· Jiannan Zhao, Jun Huang, Le Qiao, Zhiyong Xiao, Qian Huang, Jiang Wang, Qi He, Long Xiao.2015. Geologic characteristics of the Chang’E-3 exploration region. Science China Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy. 57 (3), 569–576.
· Shangzhe Zhou, Zhiyong Xiao*, Zuoxun Zeng, 2015. Impact Craters with Circular and Isolated Secondary Craters on the Continuous Secondaries Facies on the Moon. Journal of Earth Science, 26(5), 740–745. doi:10.1007/s12583-015-0579-y.
· Yu Yang, Zhiyong Xiao*, Xiaoming Xu, Wei Chen, Zuoxun ZENG. 2015. The significance of multiscale analysis in the study of Copernican-aged tectonic features on the Moon (in Chinese). Science China Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy. 45 (3), 39601-039601.
杨屿, 肖智勇*, 许晓明, 陈维, 曾佐勋. 多尺度分析在月球表面哥白尼纪构造形迹研究中的重要性. 中国科学: 物理学 力学 天文学, 2015, 45(3): 039601.
· Zhiyong Xiao*, Stephanie C. Werner. 2015. Size–frequency distribution of equilibrated crater populations on the Moon, Journal of Geophysics Research, 120 (12), 2277–2292, doi: 10.1002/2015JE004860.
· Xiao L, Qiao L, Xiao Z Y, et al. Major scientific objectives and candidate landing sites suggested for future lunar explorations (in Chinese). Sci Sin-Phys Mech Astron, 2016, 46: 029602, doi: 10.1360/SSPMA2015-00507.
肖龙，乔乐，肖智勇，黄倩，何琦，赵健楠，薛竹青，黄俊. 2016. 月球着陆探测值得关注的主要科学问题及着陆区选址建议. 中国科学：物理学 力学 天文学, 46 (2): 029602.
· Wenzhe Fa, Yuzhen Cai, Zhiyong Xiao, Wei Tian. 2016. Topographic roughness of the northern high latitudes of Mercury from MESSENGER Laser Altimeter data. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(7), 3078–3087, doi: 10.1002/2016GL069868.
· Xiao, Z.*, N. C. Prieur, and S. C. Werner (2016), The self-secondary crater population of the Hokusai crater on Mercury, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 7424–7432, doi:10.1002/2016GL069868.
· Xiao, Z.* (2016), Size-frequency distribution of different secondary crater populations: 1. Equilibrium caused by secondary impacts, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 2404–2425, doi:10.1002/2016JE005139.
· Blewett, D. T., A. C. Stadermann, H. C. Susorney, C. M. Ernst, Z. Xiao, et al. (2016), Analysis of MESSENGER high-resolution images of Mercury's hollows and implications for hollow formation, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 1798–1813, doi:10.1002/2016JE005070.
· Qiao, L., Xiao, Z., Zhao, J., Xiao, L., 2016. Subsurface structures at the Chang’e-3 landing site: Interpretations from orbital and in-situ imagery data. Journal of Earth Science, 27(4): 707-715.
· L. Xiao, J. Wang, Y. Dang, Z. Cheng, T. Huang, J. Zhao, Y. Xu, J. Huang, Z. Xiao, G. Komatsu. 2017. A new terrestrial analogue site for Mars research: The Qaidam Basin, Tibetan Plateau (NW China). Earth Science Reviews, 164, 84 – 101, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.11.003.
· Z. Xiao*, Q Huang, Z. Zeng, L. Xiao (2017), Small graben in the southeastern ejecta blanket of the lunar Copernicus crater: Implications for recent shallow igneous intrusion on the Moon. Icarus, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.014.
· Xu, X., Kenkmann, T.*, Xiao, Z.*, Sturm, S., Metzger, N., Yang, Y., Weimer, D., Krietsch, H. and Zhu, M.-H. (2017), Reconnaissance survey of the Duolun ring structure in Inner Mongolia: Not an impact structure. Meteorit Planet Sci, 52: 1822–1842. doi:10.1111/maps.12890.
· Banks, M. E., Z., Xiao, S. E., Braden, N. G., Barlow, C. R., Chapman, C. I., Fassett, and S. S., Marchi (2017), Revised constraints on absolute age limits for Mercury’s Kuiperian and Mansurian stratigraphic systems, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, 1010–1020, doi:10.1002/2016JE005254.
· Y. Yuan*, P. Zhu, N. Zhao, L. Xiao, E. Garnero, Z. Xiao, J. Zhao, L. Qiao (2017), The 3-D geological model around Chang'E‐3 landing site based on lunar penetrating radar Channel 1 data, Geophysical Research Letters 44 (13), 6553-6561.
· N. C. Prieur*, T. Rolf, R. Luther, K. Wünnemann, Z. Xiao, S. C. Werner (2017), The effect of target properties on transient crater scaling for simple crater, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 122(8), 1704–1726, doi:10.1002/2017JE005283.
· Xie, M., Zhu, M.-H., Xiao, Z., Wu, Y., & Xu, A. (2017). Effect of topography degradation on crater size-frequency distributions: Implications for populations of small craters and age dating. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(20), 10,171–10,179, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075298.
· Z. Xiao*, Z. Chen, J. Pu, X. Xiao, Y. Wang, J. Huang (2018). Hailar crater – A possible impact structure in Inner Mongolia, China. Geomorphology, 306, 128 – 140, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.01.020.
· Huang, J., Xiao, Z., Flahaut, J., Martinot, M., Head, J., Xiao, X., Xie, M., & Xiao, L. (2018). Geological Characteristics of Von Kármán Crater, Northwestern South Pole‐Aitken Basin: Chang'E‐4 Landing Site Region. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 123. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JE005577.
· Zhiyong Xiao, Zuoxun Zeng, and Robert G. Strom. 2014. Comparison between Copernican-aged Geological Activity on the Moon and Kuiperian-aged Geological Activity on Mercury (in Chinese). China University of Geoscience Press, Wuhan, China.
University of Arizona  地质学  博士研究生  博士学位 联合培养博士研究生
中国地质大学（武汉）  地质学  博士研究生  博士学位 硕博连读
华中科技大学  英语  双学士学位  学士学位 英语文学双学士，通过英语专业四级、专业八级
中国地质大学（武汉）  计算机科学与技术  大学本科  工学学士学位 计算机科学与技术
University of Oslo Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics 无 Guest Researcher 离职
University of Oslo Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics 无 Postdoc Researcher 离职