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Chun Liu

Primary Affiliation:Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences
Office Location:
Research Group:Structural Geology and Geomechanics

Biographical Information


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My partners and I used geometric methods and mechanical methods to quantify and simulate the failure of rocks and soils. Quantitative field data and laboratory data, were combined with computer modeling, to address fundamental questions about the processes of failure of rocks and soils.

Recently, I am working on three-dimensional Discrete Element Model. The new model will be used in three aspects (1) failure characteristics of anisotropic high porosity sandstone (compaction bands) (2) hydro fracturing and wave propagation in anisotropic material (shale gas) (3) micro modeling of soil structures (land subsidence) 

I developed a set of logic algorithm in order to recognize and measure the objects in an image. In particular, micro particles in SEM images and cracks in rocks. Quantitative analysis of these objects will help us realize the relationship between the microstructure and the macroscopic properties of  material.

Here is two of my software: Particles (Pores) and Cracks Analysis System, Trishear Creator


Professional Activities


    09.2007-06.2012Ph.D. School of Earth Sciences and Engineering (SESE), Nanjing University
    Supervisors: Prof. Bin Shi & Prof. Baojun Wang (Geology Engineering)
    09.2010-10.2011Visiting Student, Geological & Environmental Sciences Department, Stanford University
    Supervisor: Prof. David D. Pollard (Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics)
    09.2002-06.2006B.S. School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University

Professional Experience

    07.2012-09.2013Assistant Researcher, Geology Engineering
  • Three-dimensional Discrete Element Model and its applications in the fracturing process of rocks
  • A DEM code "MatDEM" was developed in Matlab, which can be used to simulate the failure behaviors of rocks, propagation of wave, and conversion of energy  during these processes
  • 09.2010-10.2011Visiting Researcher, Structural  Geology & Geomechanics Group, Stanford Univ.
  • Learned the Structural Geology, Rock Mechanics, Fracture Mechanics, etc.
  • Mechanism of formation of compaction bands. Matlab, FEM and BEM program  were used
  • 09.2008-03.2009IBM  Intern, Team of Solutions Builder Express, CDL, Shanghai
  • Worked with six Chinese and four Americans to develop an intelligent tool
  • Developed a key algorithm for the project

Honors & Awards

    2013Excellent PhD thesis of Jiangsu Province, Excellent PhD thesis of Nanjing University
    2012Li Siguang Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award (a total of four in China), Outstanding Graduate Student of Jiangsu Province
    20112011 Academic Star Award (Awarded by Ministry of Education of China)
    2010China Scholar Council Award
    2009Best Paper Award, 2009 National Academic Forum for Ph.D. Students, Excellent Graduate Student Leader

University Service

Professional Activities

Courses Taught


    See for details. Email: 
  • Liu C., Shi B., Shao Y., Tang C., 2013. Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Urban Heat Island Effect on Slope Stability. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment. (accepted)
  • Liu C., Tang C., Shi B., Suo W., 2013. Automatic quantification of crack patterns by image processing. Computers and Geosciences, 57, 77-80. [doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2013.04.008]
  • Liu C., Pollard D.D., Shi B. 2013. Analytical solutions and numerical tests of elastic and failure behaviors of close-packed lattice for brittle rocks and crystals. Journal of Geophysical Research- Solid Earth, 118, 71–82. [doi: 10.1029/2012JB009615]
  • 2012
  • Liu C., Yin H., Zhu L., 2012. TrishearCreator: a tool for the kinematic simulation and strain analysis of trishear fault-propagation folding with growth strata. Computers & Geosciences, 49, 200-206 [doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.07.002]
  • Tang C., Shi B., Cui Y., Liu C., Gu K., 2012. Desiccation cracking behaviour of polypropylene fiber reinforced clayey soil. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 49(9), 1088-1101 [doi: 10.1139/t2012-067]
  • Shi B., Tang C., Gao L., Liu C., Wang B., 2012. Observation and analysis of the urban heat island effect on soil in Nanjing, China. Environmental Earth Sciences. Environmental Earth Sciences, 67(1), 215-229 [doi: 10.1007/s12665-011-1501-2]
  • Tang C., Shi B., Liu C., 2012. Study on desiccation cracking behaviour of expansive soil. Journal of Engineering Geology 20(5), 663-673 (in Chinese)
  • Shi B., Tang C., Gao L., Jiang H., Liu C. , 2012. Differences in shallow soil temperatures at urban and rural areas. Journal of Engineering Geology 20(1), 58-65 (in Chinese) [doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1004-9665.2012.01.009]
  • 2011
  • Liu C., Shi B., Zhou J., Tang C., 2011. Quantification and characterization of microporosity by image processing,           geometric measurement and statistical methods: application on SEM images of clay materials. Applied Clay Science, 54(1), 97-106 [doi: 10.1016/j.clay.2011.07.022]
  • Liu C., Shi B., Tang C., Gao L., 2011. A numerical and field Investigation of underground temperatures under urban heat island. Building and Environment 46(5), 1205-1210 [doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2010.12.015]
  • Tang C., Shi B., Gao L., Daniels J.L., Jiang H.T., Liu C., 2011. Urbanization effect on soil temperature in Nanjing, China. Energy and Buildings, 43(11), 3090–3098 [doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2011.08.003]
  • Tang C., Cui Y., Shi B., Tang A., Liu C., 2011. Desiccation and cracking behaviour of clay layer from slurry state under wetting-drying cycles. Geoderma, 116(1), 111-118 [doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2011.07.018]
  • Tang C., Shi B., Liu C., Gao L., Inyang H., 2011. Experimental investigation on the desiccation cracking behavior of soil layer during drying. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 23(6), 873-878 [doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000242]
  • Tang C., Shi B., Liu C., et al. 2011. Experimental characterization of shrinkage and desiccation cracking in thin clay layer. Applied Clay Science 52(1-2), 69-77 [doi: 10.1016/j.clay.2011.01.032]
  • Shao Y., Shi B., Liu C., et al., 2011. Temperature effect on the hydro-physical properties of clayed soils. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical  Engineering, 33(10), 1576-1582  (in Chinese)
  • Tang C., Shi B., Gao L., Liu C., Zhao L., 2011. Monitoring and comparing of soil profile water contents in urban and suburban areas. Journal of Engineering Geology 19(5), 656-663 (in Chinese) [doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1004-9665.2011.05.004]
  • Shi B., Zhang D.,  Zhu H.H., Liu C., 2011. Application of distributed optical fiber strain measurement  into geotechnical engineering monitoring. 8th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring 2011, Stanford University. (conference)
  • 2010
  • Liu C. , Wang B., Shi B., Tang C., 2010. Quantitative analysis of soil cracks using image processing. 11th International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment Congress 2010, Beijing. (conference)
  • Tang C., Shi B., Gao L., Liu C., 2010. Physical model testing of temporal variatioin of soil temperature in depth. Journal of Engineering Geology 18(6), 913-919 (in Chinese) [doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1004-9665.2010.06.016]
  • 2009
  • Liu C., Zhang Y., Wang, Y., 2009. Analysis  of complete fold shape based on quadratic Bezier curves. Journal of         Structural  Geology 31(6), 575-581 [doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2009.03.019]
  • Liu C., Zhang Y., Shi B., 2009. Geometric  and kinematic modeling of detachment folds with growth strata based on Bezier curves. Journal of Structural Geology 31(3), 260-269 [doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2008.11.019]
  • Shi B., Shao Y., Liu C., Wang B., 2009. Impact and key issues of urban heat island effect to soil engineering properties. Journal of Engineering Geology 17(2), 180-187 (in Chinese)
  • 2008
  • Liu C., Wang B., Shi B., Tang C., 2008. Analytic method of morphological parameters of cracks for rock and soil  based on image processing and recognition. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 30(9), 1383-1388  (in Chinese)
  • Tang C., Shi B., Liu C., Wang B., 2008. Influencing factors of geometrical  structure of surface shrinkage cracks in clayey soils. Engineering Geology 101(3-4), 204-217 [doi: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.05.005]
  • Shi B., Liu  C., Wang B., Zhao L., 2008. Urban Heat Island Effect on Engineering  Properties of Soil and the Related Disaster Effect. Advances in Earth Science 23(5), 1167-1173  (in Chinese) [doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1004-9665.2009.02.005]
  • Shi B.,Liu C., Tang C.S.,  Wang B.J., 2008. Urban heat  island effect on engineering properties of soil and the related disaster effect.  In proceeding of International symposium on drought and constructions, Paris, Sep.1-3. (conference)
  • 2007
  • Tang C., Shi B., Liu C., Wang B., 2007. Factors affecting the surface cracking in  clay due to drying shrinkage. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 38(10),  1186-1193  (in Chinese)
  • Tang C., Shi B., Liu C., Wang B., Gao W., 2007. Developing law and morphological analysis of shrinkage cracks of clayey soil under different temperatures.  Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 29(5), 743-749  (in Chinese)

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