Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences

David Yuen


23 Pillsbury Hall


PhD, 1978, University of California-Los Angeles

Dr. Yuen's Research Group


Research Interests

I work on a variety of problems in numerical modelling of geophysical and geological phenomena. We focus on leading edge problems of computational nature, always trying to push the envelope out further. We are also heavily involved in state-of-the-art visualization of very large data sets in the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. We work on problems involving all scales ranging from the angstrom level, using molecular dynamics, to convection in the Earth's mantle and other planetary mantles. Our approach is very eclectic, embracing all disciplines. I am interested in applied mathematics, physics, physical chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, and computers of all sorts, in particular, many-core architecture. We aim for modern approaches in all endeavors. We strive to apply modern techniques to all of our endeavors. Often this calls for a period of intense learning and retooling new topics, such as self-organized criticality, multifractals, wavelets, and curvelets.


Courses Taught

  • Solid Earth Geophysics I and II
  • Planets of the Solar System
  • Freshmen Seminar: Tsunami
  • Time Series Analysis of Geologic Phenomena


Selected Publications

  • David A. Yuen, Shigenori Maruyma, Shun Ichiro Karato, and B. F. Windley , Superplumes: Beyond Plate Tectonics, 573 pages, Springer Verlag, 2007.
  • Guizhi Zhu, Taras V. Gerya, David A. Yuen, Satoru Honda, Takeyoshi Yoshida, James A.D. Connolly. Three-dimensional dynamics of hydrous thermal-chemical plumes in the oceanic subduction zones. 2009, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., doi:10.1029/2009GC002625.
  • A. P. Vincent, David A. Yuen, David Munger and Guizhi Zhu, On the Dynamics of 3-D single thermal plumes at various Prandtl and Rayleigh numbers, Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, in press, 2011.
  • van den Berg, Arie P.; de Hoop, Maarten V.; Yuen, David A.; Duchkov, Anton; van der Hilst, Robert D.; Jacobs, Michael H. G. Geodynamical modeling and multiscale seismic expression of thermo-chemical heterogeneity and phase transitions in the lowermost mantle, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 180, 244-287, 2010.
  • Marc Monnereau and David A. Yuen, Topology of the postperovskite phase transition and mantle dynamics, , Proc. National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 104, No. 22,9156-9161, 2007.
  • Yuen, D.A., Dzwinel W., Ben-Zion, Y., Kadlec,B.,, Visualization of Earthquake Clusters Over Multi-dimensional Space , 27 pages, Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, Edited by W.K. Lee, Springer Verlag, 2008.



Recent Research Support

  • NSF-EAR, 2009-2013, Collaborative Research in the Use of Radial Basis Functions in Geophysics
  • NSF-EAR, 2010-2013, Collaborative Research in the Use of Quantum Mechanics and Geodynamics for Understanding the Mantle
  • NSF-OCI, 2010-2011, Support of G.P.U. Conference in Harbin, China
  • NSF-EAR, 2007-2010, Equipment Grant on Visualization of Fluid Dynamical Phenomena
  • NSF-EAR, 2010-2011, Support of Geophysics Conference in Kiev, Ukraine
  • NSF-EAR, 2009-2010, Support of Geophysics Conference in Suzdal, Russia



Recent Honors and Awards

  • 2010, Senior Visiting Professor, Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2005, Fellow, American Geophysics Union
  • 1997, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (Fellow)
  • 1996, Humboldt Fellow award


Profession Society Memberships

  • American Geophysics Union
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Physical Society
  • Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics


Supervised Graduate Thesis

  • Tine B. Larsen, PhD, 1996, Numerical modeling of thermal convection applied to geological systems: influences of rheology and viscous heating.
  • Joy M. Branlund, M.S. , 2000, Modelling of Shear Deformation Zones with Thermal and Rheological Feedbacks
  • Cathy Hier-Majumder, PhD, 2003, Numerical Modelling of Thermal Plumes and Visualizaiton with Wavelets
  • Megan R. Damon, M.S., 2007, Interactive Visualization of 3D-Mantle Convection


Last update: January 2011