JpGU Fellowship

Dapeng Zhao


For outstanding contributions to understanding the Earth’s internal structure using seismic tomography and to its implications for Earth’s dynamics, including arc volcanism

A list of five major papers

  • Zhao, D., A. Hasegawa, S. Horiuchi (1992). Tomographic imaging of P and S wave velocity structure beneath northeastern Japan. J. Geophys. Res. 97, 19909-19928.
  • Zhao, D., H. Kanamori, H. Negishi, D. Wiens (1996). Tomography of the source area of the 1995 Kobe earthquake: Evidence for fluids at the hypocenter? Science 274, 1891-1894. DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5294.1891
  • Zhao, D., Y. Xu, D. Wiens, L. Dorman, J. Hildebrand, S. Webb (1997). Depth extent of the Lau back-arc spreading center and its relation to subduction processes. Science 278, 254-257. DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.254
  • Fan, J., D. Zhao (2021). Subslab heterogeneity and giant megathrust earthquakes. Nature Geoscience 14, 349-353.
  • Wang, Z.W., D. Zhao (2021). 3D anisotropic structure of the Japan subduction zone. Science Advances 7, eabc9620. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc9620

Major achievements

Dr. Dapeng Zhao has used seismic tomography to greatly advance our understanding of the Earth’s internal structure and dynamics. He detected a seismic low-velocity zone in the wedge mantle beneath the northeast Japan arc and demonstrated that dehydration on the slab surface causes volcanic activity in the island arc. Furthermore, he proposed the Big Mantle Wedge (BMW) model to successfully explain the intraplate volcanism and tectonics in East Asia. In addition to the studies of the structure, deformation and dynamics of subduction zones, he also found that fluids in the crust can trigger large earthquakes, and that the origins of major hotspot volcanoes in the world are mantle plumes rising from the core-mantle boundary, and elucidated the mechanism of moonquakes from the relationship between the structural heterogeneity of the lunar mantle and the distribution of radioactive elements on the lunar surface. Based on his analysis of seismic velocity structures, he obtained many important results that have influenced a wide range of fields in geoscience, and has made remarkable contributions to the development of Earth and planetary sciences.


Satoru Tanaka


Shunichiro Karato, Thorne Lay, Egill Hauksson