Yan LiangProfessor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
I received my B.Sc. in Geology from Peking University in 1984 and my M.Sc. in Geosciences from the University of Houston in 1989. I then moved to Chicago and received my Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from The University of Chicago in 1994. After a postdoc at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, I joined the faculty at Brown University in 1998.
Sun, C. and Liang, Y. (2014) An assessment of subsolidus reequilibration on REE distribution among mantle minerals olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and garnet in peridotites. Chemical Geology, 372, 80-91, doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.02.014.
Liang, Y. (2014) Time scales of diffusive re-equilibration in bi-mineralic systems with and without a fluid phase. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 132, 274-287, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.02.008.
Watkins, J. M., Liang, Y., Richter, F. M., Ryerson, F. J., and DePaolo, D. J. (2014) Diffusion of multi-isotopic chemical species in molten silicates. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 139, 313-326, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.04.039.
Dygert, N., Liang, Y., Sun, C. and Hess, P. C. (2014) An experimental study of trace element partitioning between augite and Fe-rich basalts. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, doi: 132, 170-186, 10.1016/j.gca.2014.01.042.
Saper, L. and Liang, Y. (2014) Formation of plagioclase-bearing peridotites and peridotite-wehrlite-gabbro suite through melt-rock reaction: An experimental study. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 167: 985, doi: 10.1007/s00410-014-0985-7.
Liang, Y., Sun, C., and Yao, L. (2013) A REE-in-two-pyroxene thermometer for mafic and ultramafic rocks. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 102, 246-260, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.10.035.
Dygert, N., Liang, Y., and Hess, P. C. (2013) The importance of melt TiO2 in affecting major and trace element partitioning between Fe-Ti oxides and lunar picritic glass melts. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 106, 134-151, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.12.005.
Sun, C. and Liang, Y. (2013) Distribution of REE and HFSE between low-Ca pyroxene and lunar picritic melts around multiple-saturation points. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 119, 340-358, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2013.05.036.
Sun, C. and Liang, Y. (2013) The importance of crystal chemistry on REE partitioning between mantle minerals (garnet, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and olivine) and basaltic melts. Chemical Geology 358, 23-36, doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.08.045.
Zhang, N., Parmentier, E. M., and Liang, Y. (2013) A 3D numerical study of the thermal evolution of the Moon after lunar cumulate mantle overturn: The importance of rheology and inner core solidification. Journal of Geophysial Research 118, 1-16, doi: 10.1002/jgre.200121.
Wang, C. G., Liang, Y., Xu W. L., Dygert, N. (2013) Effect of melt composition on basalt and peridotite interaction: Laboratory dissolution experiments with applications to mineral compositional variations in mantle xenoliths from the North China Craton. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. doi: 10.1007/s00410-013-0938-6.
Zhang, N., Parmentier, E. M., and Liang, Y. (2013) Effects of lunar cumulate mantle overturn and megaregolith on the expandsion and contraction history of the Moon. Geophys. Res. Lett. doi: 10.1002/grl.50988.
Cherniak, D. and Liang, Y. (2012) Ti diffusion in natural pyroxene. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.09.021.
Yao, L., Sun, C. and Liang, Y. (2012) A parameterized model for REE partitioning between low-Ca pyroxene and basaltic melts with applications to adiabatic mantle melting and pyroxenite-derived melt and peridotite interaction. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. doi: 10.1007/s00410-012-0737-5.
Tursack, E. and Liang, Y. (2012) A comparative study of melt-rock reactions in the mantle: laboratory dissolution experiments and geological field observations. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 163, 861-876, doi: 10.1007/s00410-011-0703-7.
Sun, C. and Liang, Y. (2012) Distribution of REE between clinopyroxene and basaltic melt along a mantle adiabat: Effects of major element composition, water, and temperature. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 163, 807-823, doi: 10.1007/s00410-011-0700-x.
Dygert, N., Liang, Y., and Hess, P. C. (2012) The importance of melt TiO2 in affecting major and trace element partitioning between Fe-Ti oxides and lunar picritic glass melts. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.12.005.
Liang, Y., Schiemenz, A., Hesse, M., and Parmentier, E. M. (2011) Waves, channels, and the preservation of chemical heterogeneities during melt migration in the mantle. 38, L20308, Geophys. Res. Lett. doi: 10.1029/2011GL049034.
Hesse, M., Schiemenz, A., Liang, Y., and Parmentier, E. M. (2011) Compaction-dissolution waves in an upwelling mantle column. Geophysical Journal International, 187, 1057-1075, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05177.x.
Schiemenz, A., Liang, Y., Parmentier, E. M. (2011) A high-order numerical study of reactive dissolution in an upwelling heterogeneous mantle: I. Channelization, channel lithology, and channel geometry. Geophysical Journal International, 186, 641-664, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05065.x.
Liang, Y. (2010) Multicomponent diffusion in molten silicates: Theory, experiments, and geological applications. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. 72, 409-446, doi: 10.2138/rmg.2010.72.9.
Liang, Y., Schiemenz, A., Hesse, M., Parmentier, E. M., and Hesthaven, J. S. (2010) High-porosity channels for melt migration in the mantle: Top is the dunite and bottom is the harzburgite and lherzolite. Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L15306, doi: 10.1029/2010GL044162.
Liang, Y. and Parmentier, E. M. (2010) A two-porosity double lithology model for partial melting, melt migration and melt-rock reaction in the mantle: The nature of channel melt and the role of matrix dissolution. J. Petrol. 51, 125-152, doi:10.1093/petrology/egp086.
Liang, Y. and Peng, Q. (2010) Non-modal melting in an upwelling mantle column: Steady-state models with applications to REE depletion in abyssal peridotites. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 321-339, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2009.09.029.
I am an experimental geochemist with a strong interest in mantle petrology and mantle dynamics. My current research focuses on four related areas: (1) models, experiments, and geological field observations of partial melting, melt migration, and melt-rock reaction in a heterogeneous mantle, (2) trace element partitioning in major rock-forming minerals, (3) diffusion in silicate crystals and melts, and (4) lunar petrology and geochemistry.
NSF, EAGER: Resolving the controversy of REE diffusion in olivine.
NSF, Fractionation of REE and HFSE by melting of a subsolidusly re-equilibrated mantle.
NASA, Thermal and magmatic history of mafic and ultramafic rocks from the Moon, Mars, and HED meteorites as deduced from REE abundances in plagioclase and pyroxene.
NASA, Evolution and Environment of Exploration Destinations: Science and Engineering Synergism (Co-PI, Brown-MIT SEEED ).
American Geophysical Union
The Geochemical Society
Mineralogical Society of America
GEOL 1410: Mineralogy
GEOL 2410: Kinetics of Geochemical Processes
GEOL 2910: Introduction to Geochemical Modeling
GEOL 2910: Convection in the Oceanic Upper Mantle
GEOL 2920: Phase Equilibria Part II
GEOL 2920: Physics of Melt Migration
GEOL 2920: Evolution of the Moon I & II
Current Graduate Students:
Former Graduate Students:
Zachary Morgan, Ph.D. 2006
Mauro Lo Cascio, Ph.D. 2008
Carla Thacker, M.Sc. 2008
Qinglan Peng, M.Sc. 2009
Chenguang Sun, Ph.D. 2014
Nicholas Dygert, Ph.D. 2015
Lijing Yao, Ph.D. 2015
Conroy Baltzell (co-advising with Prof. Marc Parmentier), M.Sc. 2016
Ran Yin, M.Sc. 2016
GEOL 0230 - Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes. Spring 2016.
GEOL 1410 - Mineralogy. Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016.
GEOL 1420 - Petrology. Spring 2017.
GEOL 2920Y - Seminar on Melting and Melt Distribution in the Mantle. Spring 2017.