Mingming Zhang
Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests

Planet Formation and Evolution; Geodynamic Modeling; Transport Properties of Silicates


PhD., Center for Lunar and Planetary Science, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Contact & Links

  • 202-478-8856
  • mzhang@carnegiescience.edu
  • Earth and Planets Laboratory
    Carnegie Institution for Science
    5241 Broad Branch Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20015-1305
  • Personal Website


Mingming Zhang works on lunar magma ocean evolution and Earth’s interior by numerical modeling. Magma ocean would probably be pervasive in their infant stage of terrestrial planets and set up semi-solid internal structure that may continue to evolve to the state we see today. Mingming is working with staff scientists Peter Driscoll and Cian Wilson to develop a suite of CFD code that integrates energy, mass, species, momentum, crystal motion and phase change in multicomponent system. It would be applicable to general magmatic systems like ore deposits, magma chambers and Earth’s basal magma ocean.

Magma ocean is essentially a two- or multi-phase flow, with phase change and crystal motion. This system is quite complex let alone its large scale and nonlinearities of transport properties of silicates. We therefore have not yet been able to model magma ocean evolution directly. This is what we want to do.

We start from basic conservation laws and set up a group of partial differential equations, closed by an equation of state. This system will be discretized on a Cartesian and spherical coordinates by finite difference/finite volume/ finite element method. We solve this system and focus on the following but not limited to: convection patterns, effects of crystal motion on chemical differentiation, component-rich melt motion and its impact on the heterogeneity of mantle, the time scale of cooling, relations to crust formation and topography.