Staff and Postgraduate Students
Professor Yaoling Niu, BSc, MS, PhD
BSc in Geology, 1982 (Lanzhou University, China); MS in Economic Geology, 1988 (Alabama, USA); PhD in Geology and Geophysics, 1992 (Hawaii, USA).
See details at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/yaoling.niu/
12/2004 - present : Professor of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK
01/2003 - 12/2004 : Associate Professor, University of Houston, USA
01/2001 - 01/2003 : NERC Senior Research Fellow, Cardiff University, UK
07/1998 - 01/1999 : Visiting Professor, Lanzhou University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
01/1996 - 03/1996 : Visiting Scientist, IFREMER, France
08/1993 - 01/2001 : Lecture and Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland, Australia
05/1992 - 08/1993 : Postdoctoral Scientist, University of Hawaii, Columbia University, USA
01/1988 - 05/1992 : PhD Research Student, Northwestern University, University of Hawaii, USA
01/1986 - 12/1987 : MS Research Student, The University of Alabama, USA
08/1983 - 07/1984 : Visiting Lecturer, Nanjing University, China
01/1982 - 12/1985 : Assistant Lecturer, Lanzhou University, China
2. Career Research Highlights
Research publications, highlights & citations:
Researchers ID: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/A-5448-2008
Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=UcjfkSMAAAAJ&hl=en
Clarivate Analytics (WoS): 2017 Highly Cited Researcher https://clarivate.com/hcr/2017-researchers-list/
Mid-Ocean Ridge Processes:
(1) First-order global MORB major element compositional systematics and correlation with ridge axial depth are controlled by fertile mantle compositional variation, NOT mantle temperature variation (see above illustration); (2) MORB chemical trends differ between slow- and fast-spreading ridge segments; (3) Extent of melting increases with increasing spreading rate; (4) Mantle source fertility controls crust production, gravity anomaly, ridge morphology, and ridge segmentation at slow-spreading ridges; (5) Major element, trace element and radiogenic isotope correlations in MORB melts result from melting a compositionally heterogeneous source that is best understood as melting-induced mixing of (at least) two component mantle; (6) Abyssal peridotites are not simple melting residues, but modified by olivine addition and incompatible element refertilization from ascending/cooling mantle melts; (7) Abyssal peridotites hold the quantitative description of decompression melting in the spinel-peridotite stability field ( a Cpx + b Opx + c Spl = d Ol + 1.000 Melt with b > a).
Chemical Geodynamics and Mantle Circulation:
(1) Basic petrology, geochemistry and mineral physics argue powerfully that mantle sources for intra-plate ocean island basalts (OIB) are NOT from ancient subducted oceanic crust (SOC); (2) SOC is compositionally too depleted (both incompatible elements and radiogenic isotopes) to be enriched component for OIB; (3) SOC, if indeed subducted into the lower mantle, is too dense to return to the upper mantle OIB source regions, but can thus accumulate in the lower mantle over Earth's history, resulting in the two large low shear wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) at the base of the mantle beneath the Pacific and Africa; (4) Metasomatized deep portions of oceanic lithosphere are best candidates for the enrichment component for OIB (and E-type MORB); (5) The first largest trace element datasets of highest quality on seafloor basalts, gabbros and peridotites revealed numerous surprises not only in the petrogenesis of these rocks, but also on physical processes of chemical differentiation of the Earth.
Continental Crust Accretion:
(1) Continental collision zones, NOT active seafloor subduction zones, are primary sites for net continental crust growth; (2) Upon continental collision, seafloor subduction tends to stop, but convergence continues for some time, during which the last fragments of the underthrusting upper ocean crust will melt under amphibolite facies conditions, producing syncollisional andesites (also the syncolisional granitoids), whose major and trace element compositions are essentially identical to the model bulk continental crust, and whose mantle isotopic signature inherited from the ocean crust manifests juvenile crustal production, preservation and net accretion; (3) The standard “island arc” model for continental crust growth has major difficulties: (a) the primary arc magmas or the bulk arc crust is basaltic whereas the bulk continental crust is andesitic, which requires removal of the mafic lithologies into the asthenosphere that is not straightforward; (b) the arc crust production is mass balanced by subduction erosion and sediments recycling, thus contributing no net mass to continental crust growth; and (c) the arc crust is highly enriched in Sr, and is thus inappropriate for the continental crust that is relatively Sr deficient.
(1) Subduction initiation is a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere, which is at the edges of oceanic plateaus in ocean basins and is globally along passive continental margins, which are loci of future subduction zones; (2) It is practically unlikely that subduction initiates in the normal oceanic lithosphere because of the lack of the needed compositional (or thermal) buoyancy contract; (3) The present-day intra-oceanic arcs must have its basement of continental affinity (and to a lesser extent basemen of oceanic plateau), which is an important concept and testable hypothesis; (4) Back-arc basins result from seaward trench retreat under gravity; (5) Trench retreat leads to trench suction, explaining that the overriding continental plate drifts passively following the retreating trench; (6) Seafloor subduction is the dominant driving force for global plate motion, i.e., subduction directly causes the pacific-type seafloor spreading, and the Atlantic-type seafloor spreading and continental drift are passive response to seafloor subduction in the Pacific and part of the Indian ocean; (7) Some intra-plate processes are straightforward consequences of plate tectonics such as the lithosphere thinning, basaltic magmatism, granitoids magmatism and geological evolution of eastern China since the Mesozoic as the result of northwestward subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate and its stagnation in the mantle transition zone; (8) The young oceanic lithosphere and subjacent asthenosphere are necessarily decoupled because of ridge suction; (9) Ridge suction as a major force driving asthenospheric flow beneath oceanic lithosphere, which explains many observations including "plume-ridge interactions"; (10) Oceanic lithosphere thickness variation due to thermal contraction, referred to as the lid effect, is the primary control on the OIB geochemistry on a global scale.
My research has been financially suported by US NSF, Australian ARC, UK NERC, Chinese NSF, The Royal Society, The Leverhulme Trust, Chinese Geological Survey, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Queensland, University of Houston, Lanzhou University and Durham University over the years with a total equivalent to > 10.5 M GBP.
More on Yaoling’s interests, experiences, research, philosophy and publications at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/yaoling.niu/
3. Fellowships, Awards & Honors (since 2004)
2009: Honorary Professor, Lanzhou University
2009: Leverhulme Research Fellow, The Leverhulme Trust
2008: Fellow (elected), Geological Society of London
2006: Fellow (elected), Geological Society of America
2005: Guest Professor, Peking University
2005: Lecture Professor, China University of Geosciences in Beijing
2005: Concurrent Professor, Nanjing University
2004: Guest Professor, Northwest University, Xi'an
4. Committee Services (since 2004)
2009 to date: Board of Commission on “Solid Earth Composition & Evolution”, IMA
2006-2009: Director, The Geochemical Society
2005-2008: NERC Peer Review College, UK
2005 to date: Science Committee, Guangzhou Institute or Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
2004-2008: Chairman, IUGS Commission on “Solid Earth Composition & Evolution”
2002 to date: Chinese NSF Review Panel
5. Editorial Services (since 2004)
2015 – Executive Editor (Earth Sciences) of Science Bulletin (China Science Press & Elsevier)
2003 – Executive Editor (Earth Sciences) of Chinese Science Bulletin (China Science Press & Springer)
2016: Senior Guest Editor, "Magma Generation and Evolution: In honour and memory of Michael J. O’Hara for his life-long contributions to understanding the working of the Earth and other planets by means of petrology and geochemistry", Journal of Petrology (Oxford ), Vol. 57, Issues 11&12
2016: Guest Editor with others, "Recent advances on the tectonic and magmatic evolution of the Greater Tibetan Plateau: A Special Issue in Honor of Prof. Guitang Pan", Lithos (Elsevier), Vol. 245
2014: Guest Editor with others, "The Subduction Factory: Geochemical Perspectives", Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (Elsevier), Vol. 143, Issue 1
2012: Guest Editor with others, "Geochemical perspectives on mantle dynamics and plate interactions in Asia – A special issue in honor/memory of Dr. Shen-su Sun", Chemical Geology (Elsevier), Vol. 328, Issue 1-4
2011: Senior Guest Editor, "Magma generation and evolution and global tectonics – A volume in honor of the work of Peter J. Wyllie", Journal of Petrology (Oxford), Vol. 52, Issue 7-8
2009: Sole Guest Editor, "Recent developments on seafloor petrology and tectonics – A volume in honor of Roger Hékinian for his life-long contributions to marine petrology and tectonics", Lithos (Elsevier), Vol. 112, Issue 1-2
2007: Senior Guest Editor, "The origin, composition, evolution and present state of continental lithosphere", Lithos (Elsevier), Vol. 96, Issue 1-2
2004: Senior Guest Editor, "Magma generation and evolution in the Earth – A volume in honor of the work of Michael J. O’Hara", Journal of Petrology (Oxford), Vol. 45, Issue 12
Editorial Board Member (partial):
2014 to date: National Science Review (China Science Press & Oxford University Press)
2013 to date: Geoscience Frontiers (China University of Geosciences, Elsevier) (Council)
2012 to date: Northwest China Geology (Chinese Geological Survey)
2010 to date: Geology & Exploration (Geological Society of China)
2009 to date: Central European Journal of Geosciences (Versita, Springer)
2009 to date: Journal of Earth Sciences (China University of Geosciences, Springer)
2008 to date: Advances in Earth Sciences (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
2008-2013: Lithos (Elsevier)
2006-2016: Journal of Asian Earth Sciences (Elsevier)
2005-2013: Earth Science Frontiers (China University of Geosciences, Elsevier)
2005 to date: Geological Journal of China Universities (Nanjing University, China)
6. Conference Keynote Speeches (since 2004)
2015: Paleo-Pacific subduction and North China Craton Destruction, Beijing (March 26-27)
2015: Tectonic Evolution of Western Pacific, Qingdao (March 20-21)
2013: Petrology and Geodynamics Conference of China, Guangzhou
2013: Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry Conference of China, Nanjing
2012: Deep Sea and Earth Systems Research Conference of China, Shanghai
2012: Structural Geology and Geodynamics Conference of China, Wuhan
2012: The 34th International Geological Congress (IGC), Brisbane
2011: International Conference on Craton Formation and Destruction, Beijing
2011: Petrology and Geodynamics Conference of China, Xi'an
2010: Goldschmidt Conferences, Knoxville
2009: Goldschmidt Conferences, Davos
2008: American Geophysical Union Fall Meetings, San Francisco
2006: Goldschmidt Conferences, Melbourne
2006: American Geophysical Union Fall Meetings, San Francisco
7. Invited Institutional Speeches (since 2004)
2017: University of Leeds (UK), Australian National University, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Nanjing University, China University of Geosciences (Beijing)
2016: Shanghai Ocean University, University of Queensland, University of Tasmania, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Zhejiang University
2015: Chinese Academy of Sciences University (Beijing), China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Ryukyu University (Japan)
2014: China University of Petroleum (Qingdao), First Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Marine Bureau (Qingdao), China University of Geosciences (Beijing)
2013: Xi'an Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Peking University (Beijing), Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Guiyang), China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Nanjing University (Nanjing), Qingdao Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2012: China University of Geosciences (Beijing), China Bureau of Earthquakes Administration, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Xi'an Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources, Chang'an University, Lanzhou University, Peking University, Qingdao Institute of Oceanology, Institute of South China Sea Oceanology
2011: Lanzhou University, China
2010: University of Cambridge, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing), Chinese Academy of Sciences (Guangzhou), Tongji University (Shanghai)， Lanzhou University, Nothwest University (Xi'an), Xi'an Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources
2009: Peking (Beijing) University, Lanzhou University
2008: China University of Ocean Sciences (Qingdao), Lanzhou University, University College of London
2007: China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2006: Peking University, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Hong Kong, University of Cambridge, University of Leicester, University of Edinburgh
2005: Nanjing University, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Northeast Geological Society
2004: Rice University, Durham University, Qingdao Ocean University, Peking University, Northwest University, China University of Science & Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing)
8. Symposium/Conferences Organized/Convened (since 2004)
2015: Goldschmidt Conference, Symposium on Magma Generation and Evolution – A Symposium in Honor and Memory of Michael J. O’Hara for his Life-Long Contributions to Understanding the Working of the Earth and Other Planets by Means of Petrology and Geochemistry, August 16-21, Prague, CZ
2014: Goldschmidt Conference, Symposium on Magma Generation/Evolution and Oceanic Crust Formation at Mid-Ocean Ridges and Interoceanic Arcs, June 8-13, Sacramento, USA
2012: President, National Conference on Petrology and Geodynamics, September 21-24, Lanzhou, China
2012: 34th IGC, Brusbane, Australia, Symposium on Magmatism in extensional environments (continental rifts and MORs), August 5-9, Brisbane, Australia
2011: AGU Fall Meeting, Symposiam on Recent developments on the origin and evolution of the Tibetan Plateau, December 5-9, San Francisco, USA
2010: AGU Fall Meeting, Symposium on New Advances in Studies of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas, December 13-17, San Francisco, USA
2009: Goldschmidt Conference, Symposium on Magma generation and evolution and global tectonics - A symposium in honor of Peter J. Wyllie for his life-long contributions to understanding how the Earth works and in celebration of the 50th Golden Anniversary of Journal of Petrology, June 21-27, Davos, Switserland
2007: AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco
2006: Western Pacific AGU Meeting, Beijing
2005: SECE-IUGS Symposium on The origin, evolution and present state of subcontinental lithosphere, June 25-July 1, Beijing, China
2004: Kevin Burke Symposium Plate Tectonics, Plumes and Planetary Lithospheres", November 12-15, Houston, USA
9. Departmental Duties
2007-2008: Member of management Committee
2005-2008: Member of Research Committee
- Thermodynamics for Geologists (Year 2; since 2005)
- Metamorphic Petrology (Year 2: since 2005)
- Magmatism and Global Tectonics) (Year 3: since 2005)
- Southeast Spain Field trips (2005, 2006)
- Cyprus Field trips (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
- Tutorials (Year 1 and Year 2 since 2006)
Department of Earth Sciences
- Petrology and geochemistry of mantle peridotites
- Petrology and geochemistry of basalts and basaltic rocks
- Petrology and geochemistry of granite and granitoid rocks
- Petrology and geochemistry of HP and UHP metamorphic rocks
- Mid-ocean ridge magmatism
- Intra-plate magmatism
- Subduction-zone processes
- Magmatism associated with continental collision and continental crust accretion
- Causes and effects of seafloor subduction and global tectonics
- Chemical geodynamics and mantle circulation
- Origin and evolution of mantle lithosphere (continental and oceanic)
- Petrogenesis of Moon rocks
- Behaviour of chemical elements in various Earth processes
- Geochronology, isotope geochemistry and geological applications
- Ore-forming processes
Chapter in book
- Niu, Y.L. & Hékinian, R. (2004). Ridge suction drives plume-ridge interactions. In Oceanic hotspots intraplate submarine magmatism and tectonism. Hékinian, R. Stoffers, P. & Cheminée, J. L. New York: Springer. 285-307.
- Niu, Y.L. & Wilson, M. (2016). Magma Generation and Evolution: In honour and memory of Michael J. O’Hara for his life-long contributions to understanding the working of the Earth and other planets by means of petrology and geochemistry. Journal Of Petrology, 57 (11&12): Oxford University Press.
- Meng, Fanxue, Gao, Shan, Song, Zhaojun, Niu, Yaoling & Li, Xuping (2018). Mesozoic high-Mg andesites from the Daohugou area, Inner Mongolia: Upper-crustal fractional crystallization of parental melt derived from metasomatized lithospheric mantle wedge. Lithos 302-303: 535-548.
- Xia, Y., Xu, X.S., Niu, Y.L. & Liu, L. (2018). Neoproterozoic amalgamation between Yangtze and Cathaysia blocks: The magmatism in various tectonic settings and continent-arc-continent collision. Precambrian Research 309: 56-87.
- Niu, Yaoling (2018). Origin of the LLSVPs at the base of the mantle is a consequence of plate tectonics – A petrological and geochemical perspective. Geoscience frontiers
- Yang, Jinbao, Zhao, Zhidan, Hou, Qingye, Niu, Yaoling, Mo, Xuanxue, Sheng, Dan & Wang, Lili (2018). Petrogenesis of Cretaceous (133–84 Ma) intermediate dykes and host granites in southeastern China: Implications for lithospheric extension, continental crustal growth, and geodynamics of Palaeo-Pacific subduction. Lithos 296-299: 195-211.
- Xiong,Chen, Chen,Honde, Niu,Yaoling, Chen,Anqing, Zhang,Chenggong, Li,Feng, Xu,Shenglin & Yang,Shuai (2018). Provenance, depositional setting, and crustal evolution of the Cathaysia Block, South China: Insights from detrital zircon U–Pb geochronology and geochemistry of clastic rocks. Geological Journal 53(5): 1-16.
- Chen, Shuo, Niu, Yaoling & Xue, Qiqi (2018). Syn-collisional felsic magmatism and continental crust growth: A case study from the North Qilian Orogenic Belt at the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Lithos 308-309: 53-64.
- Guo, Pengyuan, Niu, Yaoling, Sun, Pu, Wang, Xiaohong, Gong, Hongmei, Duan, Meng, Zhang, Yu, Kong, Juanjuan, Tian, Liyan & Wu, Shiguo (2018). The Early Cretaceous bimodal volcanic suite from the Yinshan Block, western North China Craton: Origin, process and geological significance. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 160: 348-364.
- Sun, Pu, Niu, Yaoling, Guo, Pengyuan, Cui, Huixia, Ye, Lei & Liu, Jinju (2018). The evolution and ascent paths of mantle xenolith-bearing magma: Observations and insights from Cenozoic basalts in Southeast China. Lithos 31-311: 171-181.
- Niu, Yaoling & Green, David H. (2018). The petrological control on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath ocean basins. Earth-Science Reviews
- Song, Shuguang, Niu, Yaoling, Zhang, Guibin & Zhang, Lifei (2018). Two epochs of eclogite metamorphism link ‘cold’ oceanic subduction and ‘hot’ continental subduction, the North Qaidam UHP belt, NW China. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 474: 1-15.
- Zhang, Y.Q., Song, S.G., Yang, L.M., Su, L., Niu, Y.L., Allen, M.B. & Xu, X. (2017). Basalts and picrites from a plume-type ophiolite in the South Qilian Accretionary Belt, Qilian Orogen: Accretion of a Cambrian Oceanic Plateau?. Lithos 278-281: 97-110.
- Xiao, Yuanyuan, Niu, Yaoling, Wang, Kuo-Lung, Iizuka, Yoshiyuki, Lin, Jinyan, Wang, Dong, Tan, Yulong & Wang, Guodong (2017). Different stages of chemical alteration on metabasaltic rocks in the subduction channel: Evidence from the Western Tianshan metamorphic belt, NW China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 145(Part A): 111-122.
- Xiao, Y.Y., Niu, Y.L., Zhang, H.F., Wang, K.-L., Iizuka, Y., Lin, J.Y., Tan, Y.L. & Xu, Y.J. (2017). Effects of decarbonation on elemental behaviors during subduction-zone metamorphism: Evidence from a titanite-rich contact between eclogite-facies marble and omphacitite. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 135: 338-346.
- Sun, P., Niu, Y.L., Guo, P.Y., Ye, L., Liu, J.J. & Feng, Y.X. (2017). Elemental and Sr–Nd–Pb isotope geochemistry of the Cenozoic basalts in Southeast China: Insights into their mantle sources and melting processes. Lithos 272-273: 16-30.
- Huang, H., Niu, Y.L. & Mo, X.X. (2017). Garnet effect on Nd-Hf isotope decoupling: Evidence from the Jinfosi batholith, Northern Tibetan Plateau. Lithos 274-275: 31-38.
- Wei, Y.Q., Zhao, Z.D., Niu, Y.L., Zhu, D.C., Liu, D., Wang, Q., Hou, Z.Q., Mo, X.X. & Wei, J.C. (2017). Geochronology and geochemistry of the Early Jurassic Yeba Formation volcanic rocks in southern Tibet: Initiation of back-arc rifting and crustal accretion in the southern Lhasa Terrane. Lithos 278-281: 477-490.
- Wang, Chao, Song, Shuguang Niu, Yaoling, Allen, Mark B., Su, Li, Wei, Chunjing, Zhang, Guibin & Fu, Bin (2017). Long-lived melting of ancient lower crust of the North China Craton in response to paleo-Pacific plate subduction, recorded by adakitic rhyolite. Lithos 292-293: 437-451.
- Li, J.Y., Niu, Y.L., Chen, S., Sun, W.L., Zhang, Y., Liu, Y., Ma, Y.X. & Zhang, G.R. (2017). Petrogenesis of granitoids in the eastern section of the Central Qilian Block: Evidence from geochemistry and zircon U-Pb geochronology. Mineralogy and Petrology 111(1): 23-41.
- Kong, J.J., Niu, Y.L., Duan, M., Zhang, Y., Hu, Y., Li, J.Y. & Chen, S. (2017). Petrogenesis of Luchuba and Wuchaba granitoids in western Qinling: geochronological and geochemical evidence. Mineralogy and Petrology 111(6): 887-908.
- Shao, F.L., Niu, Y.L., Chen, S., Kong, J.J. & Meng, Duan (2017). Petrogenesis of Triassic granitoids in the East Kunlun Orogenic Belt, northern Tibetan Plateau and their tectonic implications. Lithos 282-283: 33-44.
- Song, Shuguang, Yang, Liming, Zhang, Yuqi, Niu, Yaoling, Wang, Chao, Su, Li & Gao, Yanlin (2017). Qi-Qin Accretionary Belt in Central China Orogen: Accretion by trench jam of oceanic plateau and formation of intra-oceanic arc in the Early Paleozoic Qin-Qi-Kun Ocean. Science Bulletin 62(15): 1035-1038.
- Chen, S., Wang, X.H., Niu, Y.L., Sun, P., Duan, M., Xiao, Y.Y., Guo, P.Y., Gong, H.M., Wang, G.D. & Xue, Q.Q. (2017). Simple and cost-effective methods for precise analysis of trace element abundances in geological materials with ICP-MS. Science Bulletin 62(4): 277-289.
- Niu, Y.L. (2017). Slab breakoff: A causal mechanism or pure convenience?. Science Bulletin 62(7): 456-461.
- Niu, Yaoling, Shi, Xuefa, Li, Tiegang, Wu, Shiguo, Sun, Weidong & Zhu, Rixiang (2017). Testing the mantle plume hypothesis: An IODP effort to drill into the Kamchatka-Okhotsk Sea system. Science Bulletin 62(21): 1464-1472.
- Wang, Shuijiong, Teng, Fang-Zhen, Li, Shu-Guang, Zhang, Li-Fei, Du, Jin-Xue, He, Yong-Sheng & Niu, Yaoling (2017). Tracing subduction zone fluid-rock interactions using trace element and Mg-Sr-Nd isotopes. Lithos 290-291: 94-103.
- Xu, X., Song, S.G., Allen, M.B., Ernst, R.E., Niu, Y.L. & Su, L. (2016). An 850–820 Ma LIP dismembered during breakup of the Rodinia supercontinent and destroyed by Early Paleozoic continental subduction in the northern Tibetan Plateau, NW China. Precambrian Research 282: 52-73.
- Xiao, Y.Y., Niu, Y.L., Wang, K.L., Lee, D.C. & Lizuka, Y. (2016). Geochemical behaviours of chemical elements during subduction-zone metamorphism and geodynamic significance. International Geology Review 58(10): 1253-1277.
- Tang, J., Xu, W.L., Niu, Y.L., Wang, F., Ge, W.C., Sorokin, A.A. & Chekryzhov, I.Y. (2016). Geochronology and geochemistry of Late Cretaceous–Paleocene granitoids in the Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt: Petrogenesis and implications for the oblique subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate. Lithos 266-267: 202-212.
- Zhang, Y., Meng, F.X. & Niu, Y.L. (2016). Hf isotope systematics of seamounts near the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and geodynamic implications. Lithos 262: 107-119.
- Cao, Y., Song, S.G., Su, L., Jung, H. & Niu, Y.L. (2016). Highly refractory peridotites in Songshugou, Qinling orogen: Insights into partial melting and melt/fluid–rock reactions in forearc mantle. Lithos 252-253: 234-254.
- Niu, Y.L. & O'Hara, M.J. (2016). Is lunar magma ocean (LMO) gone with the wind?. National Science Review 3(1): 12-15.
- Niu, Y.L. & Wilson, M. (2016). Magma Generation and Evolution: In honour and memory of Michael J. O’Hara for his life-long contributions to understanding the working of the Earth and other planets by means of petrology and geochemistry. Journal of Petrology 57: 2079-2080.
- Li, J.Y., Niu, Y.L., Hu, Y., Chen, S., Zhang, Y., Duan, M. & Sun, P. (2016). Origin of the late Early Cretaceous granodiorite and associated dioritic dikes in the Hongqilafu pluton, northwestern Tibetan Plateau: A case for crust–mantle interaction. Lithos 260: 300-314.
- Niu, Y.L. & Tang, J. (2016). Origin of the Yellow Sea: An insight. Science Bulletin 61(14): 1076–1080.
- Hu, Y., Niu, Y.L., Li, J.Y., Ye, L., Kong, J.J., Chen, S., Zhang, Y. & Zhang, G.R (2016). Petrogenesis and tectonic significance of the Late Triassic mafic dikes and felsic volcanic rocks in the East Kunlun Orogenic Belt, Northern Tibet Plateau. Lithos 245: 205-222.
- Chen, S., Niu, Y.L., Li, J., Sun, W.L., Zhang, Y., Hu, Y. & Shao, F.L. (2016). Syn-collisional adakitic granodiorites formed by fractional crystallization: Insights from their enclosed mafic magmatic enclaves (MMEs) in the Qumushan pluton, North Qilian Orogen at the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Lithos 248-251: 455-468.
- Huang, H., Niu, Y.L. & Mo, X.X. (2016). Syn-collisional granitoids in the Qilian Block on the Northern Tibetan Plateau: A long-lasting magmatism since continental collision through slab steepening. Lithos 246-247: 99-109.
- Niu, Y.L. (2016). Testing the geologically testable hypothesis on subduction initiation. Science Bulletin 61(16): 1231-1235.
- Niu, Y.L. (2016). The Meaning of Global Ocean Ridge Basalt Major Element Compositions. Journal of Petrology 57(11-12): 2081-2104.
- Guo, P.Y., Niu, Y.L., Sun, P., Ye, L., Liu, J.J., Zhang, Y., Feng, Y.X. & Zhao, J.X. (2016). The origin of Cenozoic basalts from central Inner Mongolia, East China: The consequence of recent mantle metasomatism genetically associated with seismically observed paleo-Pacific slab in the mantle transition zone. Lithos 240-243: 104-118.
- Zhang, Y., Niu, Y.L., Hu, Y., Liu, J.J., Ye, L., Kong, J.J. & Duan, M. (2016). The syncollisional granitoid magmatism and continental crust growth in the West Kunlun Orogen, China – Evidence from geochronology and geochemistry of the Arkarz pluton. Lithos 245: 191-204.
- Wang, C., Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L., Wei, C.J. & Su, L. (2016). TTG and Potassic Granitoids in the Eastern North China Craton: Making Neoarchean Upper Continental Crust during Micro-continental Collision and Post-collisional Extension. Journal of Petrology 57(9): 1775-1810.
- Shimizu, K., Saal, A.E., Myers, C., Nagle, A.N., Hauri, E.H., Forsyth, D.W., Kamenetsky, V.S. & Niu, Y.L. (2016). Two-component mantle melting-mixing model for the generation of mid-ocean ridge basalts: Implications for the volatile content of the Pacific upper mantle. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 176: 44-80.
- Duan, M., Niu, Y.L., Kong, J.J., Sun, P., Hu, Y., Zhang, Y., Chen, S. & Li, J.Y. (2016). Zircon U–Pb geochronology, Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic composition and geological significance of the Late-Triassic Baijiazhuang and Lvjing granitic plutons in West Qinling Orogen. Lithos 260: 443-456.
- Niu, Y.L., Liu, Y., Xue, Q.Q., Shao, F.L., Chen, S., Duan, M., Guo, P.Y., Gong, H., Hu, Y., Hu, Z.X., Kong, J.J., Li, J.Y., Liu, J.J., Sun, P., Sun, W., Ye, L., Xiao, Y.Y. & Zhang, Y. (2015). Exotic origin of the Chinese continental shelf: new insights into the tectonic evolution of the western Pacific and eastern China since the Mesozoic. Science Bulletin 60(18): 1598-1616.
- Liu, D., Zhan, Z.D., Zhu, D.-C., Niu, Y.L., Widom, E., Teng, F.-Z., DePaolo, D.J., Ke, S., Xu, J.F., Wang, Q. & Mo, X.X. (2015). Identifying mantle carbonatite metasomatism through Os–Sr–Mg isotopes in Tibetan ultrapotassic rocks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 430: 458-469.
- Wang, C., Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L. & Su, L. (2015). Late Triassic adakitic plutons within the Archean terrane of the North China Craton: Melting of the ancient lower crust at the onset of the lithospheric destruction. Lithos 212-215: 353-367.
- Song, S.G., Wang, M.J., Wang, C. & Niu, Y.L. (2015). Magmatism during continental collision, subduction, exhumation and mountain collapse in collisional orogenic belts and continental net growth: A perspective. Science China Earth Sciences 58(8): 1284-1304.
- Meng, F.X., Gao, S., Niu, Y.L., Liu, Y.S. & Wang, X.R. (2015). Mesozoic–Cenozoic mantle evolution beneath the North China Craton: A new perspective from Hf–Nd isotopes of basalts. Gondwana Research 27(4): 1574-1585.
- O'Hara, M.J. & Niu, Y.L. (2015). Obvious problems in lunar petrogenesis and new perspectives. Special Paper 514 and American Geophysical Union Special Publication 71 514 & 71(A Volume in Honor of Don L. Anderson): 339-366.
- Chen, S., Niu, Y.L., Sun, W.L., Zhang, Y., Li, J.Y., Guo, P.Y. & Sun, P. (2015). On the origin of mafic magmatic enclaves (MMEs) in syn-collisional granitoids: evidence from the Baojishan pluton in the North Qilian Orogen, China. Mineralogy and Petrology 109(5): 577-596.
- Song, S.G., Wang, M.J., Xu, X., Wang, C., Niu, Y.L., Allen, M.B. & Su, L. (2015). Ophiolites in the Xing’an-Inner Mongolia accretionary belt of the CAOB: Implications for two cycles of seafloor spreading and accretionary orogenic events. Tectonics 34(10): 2221-2248.
- Shao, F.L., Niu, Y.L., Regelous, M. & Zhu, D.C. (2015). Petrogenesis of peralkaline rhyolites in an intra-plate setting: Glass House Mountains, southeast Queensland, Australia. Lithos 216-217: 196-210.
- Sun, W.L., Niu, Y.L., Ma, Y.X., Zhang, G.R., Hu, Z.X., Zhang, Z.W., Chen, S., Li, J.Y., Wang, X.H. & Gong, H.M. (2015). Petrogenesis of the Chagangnuoer deposit, NW China: a general model for submarine volcanic-hosted skarn iron deposits. Science Bulletin 60(3): 363-379.
- Xu, X., Song, S.G., Su, L., Li, Z.X., Niu, Y.L. & Allen, M.B. (2015). The 600–580 Ma continental rift basalts in North Qilian Shan, northwest China: Links between the Qilian-Qaidam block and SE Australia, and the reconstruction of East Gondwana. Precambrian Research 257: 47-46.
- Huang, H., Niu, Y.L., Nowell, G., Zhao, Z.D., Yu, X.H. & Mo, X.X. (2015). The nature and history of the Qilian Block in the context of the development of the Greater Tibetan Plateau. Gondwana Research 28(1): 209-224.
- Andersen, M.B., Elliott, T., Freymuth, H., Sims, K.W.W., Niu, Y.L. & Kelley, K.A. (2015). The terrestrial uranium isotope cycle. Nature 517(7534): 356-359.
- Zhang, G.B., Niu, Y.L., Song, S.G., Zhang, L.F., Tian, Z.L., Christy, A.G. & Han, L. (2015). Trace element behavior and P–T–t evolution during partial melting of exhumed eclogite in the North Qaidam UHPM belt (NW China): Implications for adakite genesis. Lithos 226: 65-80.
- Guo, P.Y., Niu, Y.L. & Yu, X.H. (2014). A synthesis and new perspective on the petrogenesis of kamafugites from West Qinling, China, in a global context. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 79(Part A): 86-96.
- Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L., Su, L., Wei, C.J. & Zhang, L.F. (2014). Adakitic (tonalitic-trondhjemitic) magmas resulting from eclogite decompression and dehydration melting during exhumation in response to continental collision. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 130: 42-62.
- Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L., Su, L., Zhang, C. & Zhang, L.F. (2014). Continental orogenesis from ocean subduction, continent collision/subduction, to orogen collapse, and orogen recycling: The example of the North Qaidam UHPM belt, NW China. Earth-Science Reviews 129: 59-84.
- Huang, H., Niu, Y.L., Nowell, G., Zhao, Z.D., Yu, X.H., Zhu, D.C., Mo, X.X. & Ding, S. (2014). Geochemical constraints on the petrogenesis of granitoids in the East Kunlun Orogenic belt, northern Tibetan Plateau: Implications for continental crust growth through syn-collisional felsic magmatism. Chemical Geology 370: 1-18.
- Niu, Y.L. (2014). Geological understanding of plate tectonics: Basic concepts, illustrations, examples and new perspectives. Global Tectonics and Metallogeny 10(1): 23-46.
- Guo, P.Y., Niu, Y.L., Ye, L., Liu, J.J., Sun, P., Cui, J.X., Zhang, Y., Gao, J.P., Su, L., Zhao, J.X. & Feng, Y.X. (2014). Lithosphere thinning beneath west North China Craton: Evidence from geochemical and Sr–Nd–Hf isotope compositions of Jining basalts. Lithos 202-203: 37-54.
- Chen, Y.X., Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L. & Wei, C.J. (2014). Melting of continental crust during subduction initiation: A case study from the Chaidanuo peraluminous granite in the North Qilian suture zone. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 132: 311-336.
- Wang, M.J., Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L. & Su, L. (2014). Post-collisional magmatism: Consequences of UHPM terrane exhumation and orogen collapse, N. Qaidam UHPM belt, NW China. Lithos 210-211: 181-198.
- Liu, D., Zhao, Z.D., Zhu, D.C., Niu, Y.L., DePaolo, D.J., Harrison, T.M., Mo, X.X., Dong, G.C., Zhou, S., Sun, C.G., Zhang, Z.C. & Liu, J.L. (2014). Postcollisional potassic and ultrapotassic rocks in southern Tibet: Mantle and crustal origins in response to India–Asia collision and convergence. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 143: 207-231.
- Xiao, Y.Y., Niu, Y.L., Li, H.K., Wang, H.C., Liu, X.M. & Davidson, J.P. (2014). Trace element budgets and (re)distribution during subduction-zone ultrahigh pressure metamorphism: Evidence from Western Tianshan, China. Chemical Geology 365: 54-68.
- Liu, D., Zhao, Z.D., Zhu, D.C., Niu, Y.L. & Harrison, T.M. (2014). Zircon xenocrysts in Tibetan ultrapotassic magmas: Imaging the deep crust through time. Geology 42(1): 43-46.
- Niu, Y.L., Zhao, Z.D., Zhu, D.C. & Mo, X.X. (2013). Continental collision zones are primary sites for net continental crust growth — A testable hypothesis. Earth-Science Reviews 127: 96-110.
- Xiao, Y., Niu, Y., Song, S., Davidson, J.P. & Liu, X. (2013). Elemental responses to subduction-zone metamorphism: Constraints from the North Qilian Mountain, NW China. Lithos 160-161: 55-67.
- Song, S.G., Niu, Y.L., Su, L. & Xia, X.H. (2013). Tectonics of the North Qilian orogen, NW China. Gondwana Research 23(4): 1378-1401.
- Zhu, D.C., Zhao, Z.D., Niu, Y.L., Dilek, Y., Hou, Z.Q. & Mo, X.X. (2013). The origin and pre-Cenozoic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau. Gondwana Research 23(4): 1429-1454.
- Prytulak, J., Nielsen, S.G., Ionov, D.A., Halliday, A.N., Harvey, J., Kelley, K.A., Niu, Y.L., Peate, D.W., Shimizu, K. & Sims, K.W.W. (2013). The stable vanadium isotope composition of the mantle and mafic lavas. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 365: 177-189.
- Niu, Y.L., Wilson, M., Humphreys, E.R. & O'Hara, M.J. (2012). A trace element perspective on the source of ocean island basalts (OIB) and fate of subducted ocean crust (SOC) and mantle lithosphere (SML). Episodes 35(2): 310-327.
- Niu, Y.L. (2012). Earth processes cause Zr-Hf and Nb-Ta fractionations, but why and how?. RSC Advances 2(9): 3587-3591.
- Xiao, Y.Y., Lavis, S., Niu, Y.L., Pearce, J.A., Li, H.K., Wang, H.C. & Davidson, J. (2012). Trace-element transport during subduction-zone ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism: Evidence from western Tianshan, China. Geological Society of America Bulletin 124(7-8): 1113-1129.
- Zhu, D.C., Zhao, Z.D., Niu, Y.L., Dilek, Y. & Mo, X.X. (2011). Lhasa terrane in southern Tibet came from Australia. Geology 39(8): 727-730.
- Zhu, D.C., Zhao, Z.D., Niu, Y.L., Mo, X.X., Chung, S.L., Hou, Z.Q., Wang, L.Q. & Wu, F.Y. (2011). The Lhasa Terrane: Record of a microcontinent and its histories of drift and growth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 301(1-2): 241-255.
- Niu, Y.L., Wilson, M., Humphteys, E.R. & O'Hara, M.J. (2011). The Origin of Intra-plate Ocean Island Basalts (OIB): the Lid Effect and its Geodynamic Implications. Journal of Petrology 52(7-8): 1443-1468.
- Turner, S., Beier, C., Niu, Y.L. & Cook, C. (2011). U-Th-Ra disequilibria and the extent of off-axis volcanism across the East Pacific Rise at 9°30′N, 10°30′N, and 11°20′N. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 12(7): Q0AC12.
- Huang, X.L., Niu. Y.L., Xu, Y.G., Yang, Q.J. & Zhong, J.W. (2010). Geochemistry of TTG and TTG-like gneisses from Lushan-Taihua complex in the southern North China Craton: Implications for late Archean crustal accretion. Precambrian Research 182(1-2): 43-56.
- Huang, X.L., Niu, Y.L., Xu, Y.G., Chen, L.L. & Yang, Q.J. (2010). Mineralogical and Geochemical Constraints on the Petrogenesis of Post-collisional Potassic and Ultrapotassic Rocks from Western Yunnan, SW China. Journal of Petrology 51(8): 1617-1654.
- Song, S.G., Su, L., Niu, Y.L., Lai, Y. & Zhang, L.F. (2009). CH4 inclusions in orogenic harzburgite: Evidence for reduced slab fluids and implication for redox melting in mantle wedge. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73(6): 1737-1754.
- Niu, Y.L. & O'Hara, M.J. (2009). MORB mantle hosts the missing Eu (Sr, Nb, Ta and Ti) in the continental crust: New perspectives on crustal growth, crust-mantle differentiation and chemical structure of oceanic upper mantle. Lithos 112(1-2): 1-17.
- Mo, X.X., Niu, Y.L., Dong, G.C., Zhao, Z.D., Hou, Z.Q., Zhou, S. & Ke, S. (2008). Contribution of syncollisional felsic magmatism to continental crust growth: A case study of the Paleogene Linzizong volcanic Succession in southern Tibet. Chemical Geology 250(1-4): 49-67.
- Niu, Y.L. & O'Hara, M.J. (2008). Global correlations of ocean ridge basalt chemistry with axial depth: A new perspective. Journal of Petrology 49(4): 633-664.
- Niu, Y.L. (2008). The Origin of Alkaline Lavas. Science 320(5878): 883-884.
- Mo, X.X., Hou, Z.Q., Niu, Y.L., Dong, G.C., Qu, X., Zhao, Z.D. & Yang, Z. (2007). Mantle contributions to crustal thickening during continental collision: Evidence from Cenozoic igneous rocks in southern Tibet. Lithos 96(1-2): 225-242.
- Niu, Y.L. (2005). Generation and evolution of basaltic magmas: Some basic concepts and a new view on the origin of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic volcanism in eastern China. Geological Journal of China Universities 11(1): 9-46.
- Niu, Y.L. (2005). On the great mantle plume debate. Chinese Science Bulletin 50(15): 1537-1540.
- Niu, Y.L. (2004). Bulk-rock major and trace element compositions of abyssal peridotites: Implications for mantle melting, melt extraction and post-melting processes beneath ocean ridges. Journal of Petrology 45(12): 2423-2458.
- Niu, Y.L., O’Hara, M.J. & Pearce, J.A. (2003). Initiation of subduction zones as a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere: A petrologic perspective. Journal of Petrology 44(5): 851-866.
- Niu, Y.L. & O'Hara, M.J. (2003). Origin of ocean island basalts: A new perspective from petrology, geochemistry and mineral physics considerations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 108(B4): 2209.
- Niu, Y.L., Regelous, M., Wendt, J.I., Batiza, R. & O’Hara, M.J. (2002). Geochemistry of near-EPR seamounts: Importance of source vs. process and the origin of enriched mantle component. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 199(3-4): 327-345.
- Niu, Y.L., Gilmore, T., Mackie, S., Greig, A. & Bach, W. (2002). Mineral chemistry, whole-rock compositions and petrogenesis of ODP Leg 176 gabbros: Data and discussion. ODP Scientific Results 176: 1–60.
- Niu, Y.L., Bideau, D., Hékinian, R. & Batiza, R. (2001). Mantle compositional control on the extent of mantle melting, crust production, gravity anomaly, ridge morphology, and ridge segmentation: a case study at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 33 - 35°N. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 186(3-4): 383-399.
- Niu, Y.L., Collerson, K.D., Batiza, R., Wendt, I. & Regelous, M. (1999). Origin of enriched-type mid-ocean ridge basalt at ridges far from mantle plumes: The East Pacific Rise at 11°20′N. Journal of Geophysical Research 104(B4): 7067-7087.
- Niu, Y.L. (1997). Mantle Melting and Melt Extraction Processes beneath Ocean Ridges: Evidence from Abyssal Peridotites. Journal of Petrology 38(8): 1047-1074.
- Niu, Y.L. & Hékinian, R. (1997). Spreading rate dependence of the extent of mantle melting beneath ocean ridges. Nature 385(6614): 326-329.
- Niu, Y.L. & Batiza, R. (1997). Trace element evidence from seamounts for recycled oceanic crust in the eastern equatorial Pacific mantle. Earth & Planetary Science Letters 148(3-4): 471-484.
- Niu, Y.L., Waggoner, G., Sinton, J.M. & Mahoney, J.J. (1996). Mantle source heterogeneity and melting processes beneath seafloor spreading centers: The East Pacific Rise 18° - 19°S. Journal of Geophysical Research 101(B12): 27711-27733.
- Niu, Y.L. & Batiza, R (1993). Chemical variation trends at fast and slow spreading mid-ocean ridges. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 98(B5): 7887-7902.
- Niu, Y.L. & Batiza, R. (1991). An empirical method for calculating melt compositions produced beneath mid-ocean ridges: Application for axis and off-axis (seamounts) melting. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 96(B13): 21753-21777.