Min Ding @ MUST

Min Ding

Assistant Professor, 2019.9-Present

State Key Lab of Lunar and Planetary Sciences

Macau University of Science and Technology

Research Focus: Planetary Geodynamics (esp. Lithospheric Dynamics)

As a geophysicist, I am intrigued by the interaction between long-term tectonic/geologic evolution and short-term catastrophic processes on terrestrial planets (Moon, Mars and Earth). By combining computational geodynamics and geodetic observations, my research focuses on understanding the thermo-mechanical evolution of the lithosphere and its response to various internal and external loading processes (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes, and impacts) on time scales from minutes to millions of years.

I received my Bachelor's degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 2009; and graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in 2014, under the guidance of Prof. Jian Lin. Worked with Prof. Maria T. Zuber as a Postdoc Associate at MIT and with Prof. Qinghua Huang at Peking University.

Research Projects

  • Early Evolution of Terrestrial Planets (2020-present)

    • Proposed a hybrid mechanism (impact + mantle convection) to explain the compositional asymmetry of the Moon

    • Developed numerical viscoelastic relaxation models for impact basins using Abaqus

  • GRAIL Data: Using Impact Craters as Probes (2015–2021)

    • Provided a method to detect variations in the lunar crustal porosity using gravity signals of impact craters

    • Applied multiple spatial interpolation methods, including moving-window regression-kriging

    • Quantified the relationship between target properties and mantle uplifts under lunar impact basins

  • Machine Learning for Planetary Geology (2021-present)

    • Applied CNN to detect small craters on the Moon

  • Cryosphere (2018-present)

    • Formation of martitan polar ice deposits and its interaction with the underlying lithosphere

    • Attributed the diurnal change in cryo-microseismicity in Qilian Mountains to simulated thermal stress

  • Mars' Lithospheric Flexure (2012-2019)

    • Conducted admittance and correlation analysis of gravity and topography data in spherical harmonics

    • Focused on various tectonic regions (montes, impact basins, and plains) using spatiospectral localization technique

    • Applied Bayesian inference (MCMC) to solve for parameters

  • Shatsky Formation (2017-2019)

  • Seamount Subduction (2011-2016)

    • Considered elastoplastic deformation of the overriding plate caused by seamount movement

    • Simulated fault formation, and stress and energy evolution using the finite element software COMSOL

  • Earthquake Triggering (2010-2014)

    • Utilized geodetic observations (tidal gauge, leveling line, and GPS) after the 1960 Chile Earthquake

    • Constrained rheology in the Chile region

    • Calculated Coulomb stress changes (including co-seismic, post-seismic due to afterslip and viscoelastic relaxation, and tectonic stresses)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
University of Science and Technology of China