Ming Tang

Understanding Earth Through Chemistry

  • Ph.D., Geochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park 2011 - 2016
    supervised by William F. McDonough and Roberta L. Rudnick

  • B.A., Geochemistry, Nanjing University 2007 - 2011
    supervised by Xiao-Lei Wang

Research Experience

  • Assistant professor at Peking University, China 2019 - present

  • Post-doc at Rice University, USA 2016 - 2019

  • Graduate research assistant at the University of Maryland, USA 2012 - 2016

  • Undergraduate research assistant at Nanjing University, China 2009 - 2011

Teaching Experience

  • Planetary Earth Science Fall semesters since 2020

  • Scientific writing and research ethics Spring semesters since 2021

  • Climate change, teaching assistant Feb - May 2015

  • Physical geology, teaching assistant Feb - May 2012

  • High temperature geochemistry, teaching assistant Sep - Dec, 2011

Invited Talks

  • Carnegie Institution for Science 2019

  • University of Maryland 2019

  • Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS 2018

  • Goldschmidt conference keynote 2018

  • GSA fall meeting 2018

  • Stanford University 2018

  • Florida University 2018

  • University of Southern California 2018

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute 2017

  • Harvard University 2016

  • University of California, Santa Barbara 2016

  • Geological Society of Maryland 2016

  • Geological Society of Washington 2016

  • FESD meeting 2016

  • Nanjing University 2016

  • China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 2016

  • University of Science and Technology of China 2016

  • China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 2014

  • Nanjing University 2014

Research Awards

  • F.G. Houtermans Award (EAG) 2023

  • National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars 2021

  • Hisashi Kuno Award (AGU) 2021

  • Xplorer Prize 2021

  • Gaoshan Award 2019

  • Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award, Class 2016 2017

  • Best paper award, Geology Department, University of Maryland 2016

  • Goldschmidt student grant 2015, 2016

  • Ann G. Wylie Dissertation fellowship 2015

  • Graduate School Summer Research fellowship 2015

  • Jena outstanding graduate paper cup award 2014


  • NSFC, 42125302. Geochemical processes in continent evolution. PI ¥4,000,000 ($615,385) 2022-2026
  • National Talent Recruitment Program, 2021002979. PI, ¥3,000,000 ($461,538) 2021-2024
  • NSFC, 42073026. Endogenic oxidation during continental crust formation and its impact on early Earth surface environment. PI, ¥620,000 ($95,385) 2021-2024
  • Peking University Start-up Fund, 7101302669. PI, ¥2,000,000 ($307,692) 2021
  • NSF-USA, EAR-1850832. Synmagmatic crustal thickening and the importance of garnet fractionation in making continental crust. Co-I, $172,684 2019-2021
  • NSFC, 41888101. Co-evolution of the continents and monsoon system. Participant, 187,500,000 ($28,846,154) 2019-2023
  • GSA and MSA graduate research grant. Li diffusion in zircon, PI, $3,500 2014
  • Nanjing University, 2017-LAMD-K02. Mg isotopic fractionation during igneous differentiation in continental arc. PI, ¥200,000 ($30800) 2017-2018
  • China Academy of Sciences, Z201706, Carbon Flux of the Gangdese Arc, southern Tibet: Constraints from Petrology, Structure Geology and Numerical Simulations. co-PI, ¥1450,000 ($221,200) 2017-2019

  • “Maryland Day” volunteer

  • Reviewer of Elements, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, American Mineralogist, Chemical Geology, Science Advances, International Geology Review, Nature Geoscience, Geophysical Research Letters, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Geology, Nature Communications, Science, Lithos, Scientific Reports, Geochemical Perspective Letters, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of Petrology, G-cubed.



Tang, M., Chen, H., Song, S., Sun, G., Wang, C. (202X). Endogenic oxidation and the formation of Archean TTG crust. In review.

Tang, M., Liu, X., Chen, K. (2023). High Mg# of the continental crust explained by calc-alkaline differentiation. National Science Review, nwac258.

Chen, H., Tang, M., Song, S-G. (2023). Catastrophic craton destruction via wholesale lithosphere delamination. Geology, in press. (STUDENT PAPER)

Wu, G.H., Chu, X., Tang, M., Li, W. and Chen, F. (2023). Distinct tectono-magmatism on the margins of Rodinia and Gondwana. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 609, p.118099.


Chen, J., Jiang, H., Tang, M., Hao, J., Tian, M., Chu, X. (2022). Venus’ light slab hinders its development of planetary-scale subduction. Nature Communications, 13, 1-9.

Du, D., Tang, M., Li, W., Kay, S.M., Wang, X. (2022). What drives Fe depletion in calc-alkaline magma differentiation: Insights from Fe isotopes. Geology, 50, 552-556.

Brudner, A., Jiang, H., Chu, X., Tang, M. (2022). Crustal thickness of the Grenville orogen: A Mesoproterozoic Tibet? Geology,50, 402–406

Wang, X., Tang, M., Moyen, J., Wang, D., Kröner, A., Hawkesworth, C., Xia, X., Xie, H., Anhaeusser, C., Hofmann, A. and Li, J. (2021). The onset of deep recycling of supracrustal materials at the Paleo- Mesoarchean boundary. National Science Review, nwab136.

Chen, Y., Meng, J., Liu, H., Wang, C., Tang, M., Liu, T., Zhao, Y. (2022). Detrital zircons record the evolution of the Cathaysian Coastal Mountains along the South China margin. Basin Research, 34, 688-701.


Tang, M., Chu, X., Hao, J-H., Shen, B. (2021). Orogenic quiescence in Earth’s middle age. Science, 371(6530), 728-731.

Tang, M., Ji, W-Q., Chu, X., Wu, A., Chen, C. (2021). Reconstructing crustal thickness evolution from europium anomalies in detrital zircons. Geology, 49, 76-80.

Li, J., Tang, M., Lee, C.T.A., Wang, X., Gu, Z.D., Xia, X.P., Wang, D., Du, D.H. and Li, L.S. (2021). Rapid endogenic rock recycling in magmatic arcs. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-7.

Shu, X., Liao, S., Tang, M., Hong, W., Li, J. (2021). Different water contents lead to contrasting magmatic differentiation pathways: A case study of two coeval rock suites. Lithos, 386-387, 10600.

Sun, G., Liu, S., Cawood, P., Tang, M., Hunen, Jv, Gao, L., Hu, Y., Hu, F. (2021). Thermal state and evolving geodynamic regimes of the Meso- to Neoarchean North China Craton. Nature Communications, 12: 3888.


Tang, M. (2020). Composition of the Earth’s Crust. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Elsevier.

Marschall, H., Tang, M.. (2020). High-Temperature Processes: Is it Time for Lithium Isotopes? Elements, 16(4), 247-252.

Tang, M., Lee, C-T., Ji, W., Wang, R., Costin, G. (2020). Crustal thickening and endogenic oxidation of magmatic sulfur. Science Advances, 6, eaba6342.

Tang, M., Lee, C-T., Rudnick, R., Condie, K. (2020). Rapid mantle convection drove massive crustal thickening in the late Archean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 278, 6-15.

Chen, K., Tang, M., Lee, C-T., Wang, Z., Zou, Z., Hu, Z., Liu, Y. (2020). Sulfide-bearing cumulates in deep continental arcs: The missing copper reservoir. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 531, 115971.

Lee, C-T., Tang, M. (2020). How to make porphyry copper deposits. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 529, 115868.

Chen, K., Rudnick, R.L., Wang, Z., Tang, M., Gaschnig, R.M., Zou, Z., He, T., Hu, Z., Liu, Y. (2020). How mafic was the Archean upper continental crust? Insights from Cu and Ag in ancient glacial diamictites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 278, 16-29.


Tang, M., Lee, C-T., Costin, G., Höfer, H. (2019). Recycling reduced iron at the base of magmatic orogens. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 528, 115827.

Tang, M., Lee, C-T., Chen, K., Erdman, M., Costin, G., Jiang, H. (2019). Nb/Ta systematics in arc magma differentiation and the role of arclogites in continent formation. Nature Communications, 10, 235.

Liu, H., Sun, WD., Zartman, R., Tang, M., (2019). Continuous plate subduction marked by the rise of alkali magmatism 2.1 billion years ago. Nature Communications, 10, 3408.

Chen, X., Lee, C.-T. A., Wang, X.-L., Tang, M., 2019, Influence of water on granite generation: modeling and perspective, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 174, 126-134.


Tang, M., Erdman, M., Eldridge, G., Lee, C-T. (2018). The redox “filter” beneath magmatic orogens and the formation of continental crust. Science Advances, 4, eaar4444.


Tang, M., Rudnick, L.R., McDonough, F.W., Bose, M., Goreva, Y. (2017). Multi-mode Li diffusion in natural zircons: evidence for diffusion in the presence of step-function concentration boundaries. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 474, 110-119.

Tang, M., McDonough, F.W., Ash, R. (2017). Europium and strontium anomalies in the MORB source mantle. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 197, 132-141.


Tang, M., Chen, K., Rudnick, L.R. (2016). Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics. Science, 351(6271), 372-375.

Chen, K., Walker, J.R., Rudnick, L.R., Gao, S., Gaschnig, M.R. Puchtel, S.P., Tang, M., Hu, Z.C. (2016). Platinum-group element abundances and Re–Os isotopic systematics of the upper continental crust through time: Evidence from glacial diamictites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 191, 1-16.


Tang, M., Arevalo, R. Jr., Goreva, Y., McDonough, F.W. (2015). Elemental fractionation during condensation of plasma plumes generated by laser ablation: a ToF-SIMS study of condensate blankets. Journal of Analytical Atomic spectrometry, 30(11), 2316-2322.

Sauzeat, L., Rudnick, R.L., Chauvel, C., Garçon, M. and Tang, M. (2015) New perspectives on the Li isotopic composition of the upper continental crust and its weathering signature. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 428, 182-191.

Tang, M., Rudnick, L.R., McDonough, F.W., Gaschnig, R.M., Huang, Y. (2015). Europium anomalies constrain the mass of recycled lower continental crust. Geology, 43(8), 703-706.


Tang, M., Rudnick, L.R., Chauvel, C. (2014). Sedimentary input to the source of Martinique lavas: a Li perspective. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 144, 43-58.

Tang, M., McDonough, F. W., Arevalo, R., Jr. (2014) High-precision measurement of Eu/Eu* in geological glasses via LA-ICP-MS analysis. Journal of Analytical Atomic spectrometry, 29(10), 1835-1843.

Tang, M., Wang, X. L., Shu, X. J., Wang, D., Yang, T., & Gopon, P. (2014). Hafnium isotopic heterogeneity in zircons from granitic rocks: Geochemical evaluation and modeling of “zircon effect” in crustal anatexis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 389, 188-199.


Tang, M., Wang, X. L., Xu, X. S., Zhu, C., Cheng, T., & Yu, Y. (2012). Neoproterozoic subducted materials in the generation of Mesozoic Luzong volcanic rocks: Evidence from apatite geochemistry and Hf–Nd isotopic decoupling. Gondwana Research, 21(1), 266-280.

Wang, X. L., Shu, X. J., Xu, X., Tang, M., & Gaschnig, R. (2012). Petrogenesis of the Early Cretaceous adakite-like porphyries and associated basaltic andesites in the eastern Jiangnan orogen, southern China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 61, 243-256.

Wang, X. L., Shu, L. S., Xing, G. F., Zhou, J. C., Tang, M., Shu, X. J., … & Hu, Y. H. (2012). Post-orogenic extension in the eastern part of the Jiangnan orogen: Evidence from ca 800–760Ma volcanic rocks. Precambrian Research, 222–223, 404–423.