Xinlei Sun

Professor in Geophysics

Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences

511 Kehua St., Tianhe District,

Guzhangzhou, P.R. China 510640


Tel:  86-20-85297519

Research Areas

My research interest is the heterogeneous structure of the Earth at different depths. Using both travel times and wavefoms from seismic and ambient noise signals, I try to understand the composition and dynamic process within the Earth. My research areas include but no limited to:  Anisotropy of the inner core velocity and attenuation, and their relationships to the inner core growth; Lower mantle and core-mantle boundary heterogeneities; Regional crust and upper mantle structures and tectonic evolution; Reservoir induced seismicity;  Near surface structure from very dense seismic arrays.  




Ph.D.  Seismology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign                                                  (2007)

Dessertation: Three dimensional inner core anisotropy, lowermost mantle structure, and inner core rotation

Advisor: Prof. Xiaodong Song


M.S.  Seismology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign                                                    (2002)

Thesis: PKP travel times at near-antipodal distances: Implication for inner core anisotropy and lowermost mantle structure

Advisor: Xiaodong Song


B.E.  Computer Application, University of Science and Technology of China                               (1998)

B.S.  Geophysics, University of Science and Technology of China (Guomoruo scholarship       (1997)



2012/06-Present   Professor, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences

2009/02-2012/06   PostDoc Research Associate, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St Louis

2007/05-2009/01   PostDoc Research Associate, Geology Dept., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Qin, Jialing, X. Sun*, Peng, Zhang, et. al., Regional variations of velocity and attenuation anisotropy at the top 300 km of the inner core, Chinese J. Geophys., accepted.


Li, Jianming, X. Sun*, Shaung, Wang, et. al., Crustal shear wave velocity structure near the Jiuyishan area from seismic ambient noise tomography: implications for tectonic evolution in South China, Chinese J. Geophys., accepted.


Qin, Jialing, X. Sun*, An, Fan, Variations of velocity and attenuation anisotropy structures in the uppermost inner core beneath the central Pacific region, Geophys. Res. Lett., 2019doi:10.1029/2019GL084258

Wang, S., X. Sun*, Topography effect on ambient noise tomography using a dense seismic array, Earthquake Science, 2019.

Ma, X., X. Sun*, C., Thomas, Localized ultra-low velocity zones at the eastern boundary of Pacific LLSVP, Earth Plant. Sci. Lett.,  507, 40-49, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.11.037, 2019.

He, L.,  X. Sun*, H. Yang, J. Qin, Y. Shen, X. Ye, Upper crustal structure and earthquake mechanism in the Xinfengjiang water reservoir, Guangdong, China, J. Geophys. Res, doi:10.1029/2017JB015404, 2018.


Wang, S., X. Sun*, Qin, J. et al., Fine Fault Structure of Xinfengjiang Water Reservoir Area from high Frequency  ambient noise tomography (in Chinese), Chinese J. Geophys., 61(2), 593-203, doi :10.6038/cjg2018L0434, 2018.


Sun, X.WD Sun, Y., Hu, W. Ding, T. Ireland et. Al., Major Miocene geological events in southern Tibet and East Asia induced by the subduction of the Ninetyeast ridge, Acta Geochemica,  doi:10.1007/s11631-018-0262-y, 2018.

Ramirez, C.,  A. Nyblade, E.L. Emry, J. Julià, X. Sun, S. Anandakrishnan, D.A. Wiens, R.C. Aster, A.D. Huerta, P. Winberry, T. Wilson; Crustal structure of the Transantarctic Mountains, Ellsworth Mountains and Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica: constraints on shear wave velocities, Poisson's ratios and Moho depths, Geophys. J. Int., 211(3),   1328–1340, 2017.


Ma X,  X. Sun*,    Ultra-low velocity zone heterogeneities at the core–mantle boundary from diffracted PKKPab waves, Earth, Planets Space, 69:115, 2017.


Ma X,  X. Sun*, Wiens D A, et al. Strong seismic scatterers near the core–mantle boundary north of the Pacific Anomaly. Physics Earth Planet. Inter.,  253: 21-30. 2016


Chaupet,J, R.C. Aster, A. Huerta, , X. Sun, A. Lloyd, D. Wiens, A. Nyblade, S. Anandakrishnan, P. Winberry T. Wilson, Crusta Thickness Across West Antarctica,   J. Geophys. Res.,   DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010642, 2013.


Sun X., Song, X.D., S.H. Zheng, Y. Yang and M. Rotzwoller, Three dimensional shear velocity structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath China from ambient noise surface wave tomography,  Earthquake Science, 23, 449-463, doi:10.1007/s11589-010-0744-3, 2010.


Zheng, S. H., X.  Sun, X.D. Song, Y. Yang and M. Ritzwoller, Surface wave tomography of China from ambient seismic noise correlation,Geochm. Geophys. Geosys.,  Vol. 9, Q05020, doi:10.1029/2008GC001981, 2008.


Sun X., X. D. Song, The inner inner core of the Earth: Texturing of iron crystals from three-dimensional seismic anisotropy, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.01.0492008.


Sun X., X. D. Song, Tomographic inversion for three-dimensional anisotropy of Earth's inner core, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter ,doi:10:1016/j.pepi.2008.02.011,  2008.


Zheng, S. H., X. Sun, and X. Song,  Fine structure of P-wave velocity variations underneath the Central Pacific from PKP waves recorded at the China Seismic Network (CSN)., Chinese J.  Geophys., 50~(1), 183-191., 2007


Sun X, X. D. Song, S. H. Zheng, and D.V. Helmberger, Evidence for a chemical-thermal structure at base of mantle from sharp lateral P-wave variations beneath Central America, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 104 (1): 26-30, 2007.


Sun X., G. Poupinet, X. Song, Examination of systematic mislocation of South Sandwich Islands earthquakes using station pairs: Implications for inner core rotation, J. Geophys. Res.,111, B11305, doi:10.1029/2005JB004175, 2006.


Zhang, J., X. D. Song, Y. Li, P.G. Richards, X. Sun, and F. Waldhauser, Inner core differential motion confirmed by earthquake waveform doublets, Science, 309, 1357-1360, doi:10.1126/science.1113193, 2005.


Sun, X.,and X. D. Song, PKP travel times at near antipodal distances: Implications for inner core anisotropy and lowermost mantle structure, Earth Plant. Sci. Lett.,199, 429-445, 2002.



马晓龙  博士研究生  070904-构造地质学  

何立朋  博士研究生  070904-构造地质学  


秦加岭  博士研究生  070904-构造地质学  

王爽  博士研究生  070904-构造地质学  

李健明  硕士研究生  085217-地质工程  

张鹏  硕士研究生  070904-构造地质学  

宗健业  硕士研究生  085217-地质工程  

范安  博士研究生  070904-构造地质学  


The ditribution and lateral variation of the ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs) at the core-mantle boundary,  NSFC, 2018-2021.

Core-mante boundary structure and dynamic process, LIPS, CAS strategic priority reserch Program (B), 2016-2021

Dense array ambient noise application in assesing site effect and near surface structure in Guangzhou,  2017-2020

Multidisciplinary study of deep Earth structure in East China: in The Yanshanian Event: Deep Process and Resources, MOST China,  2016-2021

Probing structure and dynamic process of Earth's core and lowermost mantle, NSFC, 2013-2018

The velocity and attenuation anisotropy structure near the inner core bondary, NSFC, 2013-2016