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Dr Sheng Fan

Sheng Fan image 2021 @1xPhD (Otago)

  • Ice deformation (creep) experiments
  • Ice microstructure and mechanics
  • Cryogenic electron backscatter diffraction (cryo-EBSD) and fabric analyzer
  • Cryo-seismology

Email sheng.fan@otago.ac.nz
Google Scholar: Sheng Fan
ResearchGate: Sheng Fan
ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-0404-1374
MTEX code page: grain boundary irregularity

Research interests

My current research focuses on (1) understanding the deformation mechanism of ice under terrestrial conditions (warm, low stress) and planetary settings (cold, high stress), and (2) understanding high-temperature deformation mechanism of minerals using ice as an analogue. I use high-quality electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) data to quantify the microstructural statistics. I use these microstructural statistics to understand the origin, kinetics and dynamics of deformation mechanisms and/or processes and link them to the large-scale tectonic processes.

Microstructural change and mechanical weakening (enhancement)

Flowing glaciers and ice sheets play key roles in shaping planetary surfaces, and form important feedbacks with climate, both on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Ice deformation is a significant component of ice flow. Ice becomes mechanically weaker during the deformation—the rate of ice flow accelerates as the deformation progresses from low to high strain, at a constant temperature. The correlation between ice microstructural change and the mechanical weakening is well known but poorly quantified. This knowledge gap prevents us from better quantifying the acceleration rate of polar ice flow, which contribute directly to the sea level rise, under global warming. I analyse the mechanical and microstructural data collected from ice deformation experiments and natural ice cores, aiming at quantifying the contribution of microstructural changes (e.g., crystallographic axis alignment, grain size reduction) to the weakening of ice. (Fan et al. (2020): Temperature and strain controls on ice deformation mechanisms: insights from the microstructures of samples deformed to progressively higher strains at −10, −20 and −30 °C)

Sheng fan profile 1

Quantify the progress of dynamic recrystallization

Dynamic recrystallization involves the migration and/or formation of grain boundaries, through which a crystalline aggregate lowers its free energy during plastic deformation and thus lead to weakening. Ice usually deforms at temperatures very close to its melting point under terrestrial settings. Attempts to understand high temperature microstructures and recrystallization are hampered by challenges in identifying newly-formed recrystallized grains. I attempt to use statistics of grain boundary irregularity to reliably identify recrystallized grains in ice and, furthermore, gives insight into the physical processes (e.g., nucleation, grain boundary migration) driving microstructural evolution in ice at high temperatures. (Fan et al. (2021a): Using grain boundary irregularity to quantify dynamic recrystallization in ice)

Sheng fan profile 2

Use subgrain structure to understand the nature of grain boundary formation

Subgrain rotation is an important process of dynamic recrystallization, and it occurs via the progressive misorientation of low-angle intragranular boundaries, which eventually become high-angle intragranular boundaries. The enclosure of high-angle intragranular boundaries leads to the formation of new recrystallized grains. I am very interested in understanding the origin of subgrain rotation – in other words, does the progressive subgrain rotation involve the change of misorientation axes? I attempt to explore this scientific question using misorientation and geometrically necessary dislocation statistics collected from intragranular boundaries. (Fan et al. (2021b): Kinking facilitates grain nucleation and modifies crystallographic preferred orientations during high-stress ice deformation)

Sheng Fan profile 3

Appointments

  • 2021–2022 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 2019 Visiting Researcher, University of Liverpool, UK
  • 2018–2019 Visiting Researcher, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • 2018 Visiting Researcher, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • 2018 Visiting Researcher, University of Mainz, Germany
  • 2015-2017 Geological Engineer, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, PRC
  • 2014-2015 Research Assistant, State Key Lab of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, PRC
  • 2013-2014 Assistant Geological Engineer, China National Petroleum Corporation, PRC

Honours, awards and research funding

  • New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) Early Career Researcher Seed Grant
  • Antarctic Science Platform research grant from New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (to David Prior and Sheng Fan)
  • Exceptional Doctoral Thesis. 2021.
  • Best poster of Early Career Researcher or Student, Antarctic Science Conference, 2021.
  • New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute Early Career Researcher Grant, 2021.
  • Antarctica New Zealand Doctoral Scholarship, 2018-2019.
  • PERT polar research seed funding, 2017-2018.
  • University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship, 2017-2020.
  • Third prize of “Science and Technology Forum of CNOOC”, 2016.
  • Second prize of “Science and Technology Forum of CNOOC”, 2015.
  • Honour of “Outstanding Graduate” (Master’s student), 2015.
  • Third prize of “National Doctoral Forum-Oil & Gas Resources and Exploration”, 2014.
  • Sino Geophysical Co., Ltd. Enterprise Scholarship, 2013-2014.
  • Honour of “Merit Student” (outstanding in study, attitude and health), 2013-2014.
  • China University of Petroleum Master Student Scholarship, 2012-2015.

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Publications

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Hager, T. F., Cross, A. J., Goldsby, D. L., & Negrini, M. (2021). Kinking facilitates grain nucleation and modifies crystallographic preferred orientations during high-stress ice deformation. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 572, 117136. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117136

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Cross, A. J., Goldsby, D. L., Hager, T. F., Negrini, M., & Qi, C. (2021). Using grain boundary irregularity to quantify dynamic recrystallization in ice. Acta Materialia. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.actamat.2021.116810

Thomas, R., Prior, D., Kerr, G., Goldsby, D., Cross, A., Hager, T., Negrini, M., & Fan, S. (2021). Water chemistry and ice mechanics. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 69-70). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Goldsby, D. L., Hager, T. F., Cross, A. J., & Negrini, M. (2021). The control of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) development and grain size reduction on ice mechanical weakening. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 69). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Prior, D., Bowman, M. H., Craw, L., Ershadi, M. R., Drews, R., Fan, S., … Hulbe, C., … Still, H., Thomas, R., … Wild, C. (2021). The Priestley Glacier deformation experiment. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 67). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Craw, L., Treverrow, A., Fan, S., Peternell, M., Cook, S., McCormack, F., & Roberts, J. (2021). The temperature change shortcut: Effects of mid-experiment temperature changes on the deformation of polycrystalline ice. Cryosphere, 15, 2235-2250. doi: 10.5194/tc-15-2235-2021

Journal - Research Article

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Cross, A. J., Goldsby, D. L., Hager, T. F., Negrini, M., & Qi, C. (2021). Using grain boundary irregularity to quantify dynamic recrystallization in ice. Acta Materialia. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.actamat.2021.116810

Journal - Research Article

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Hager, T. F., Cross, A. J., Goldsby, D. L., & Negrini, M. (2021). Kinking facilitates grain nucleation and modifies crystallographic preferred orientations during high-stress ice deformation. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 572, 117136. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117136

Journal - Research Article

Monz, M. E., Hudleston, P. J., Prior, D. J., Michels, Z., Fan, S., Negrini, M., Langhorne, P. J., & Qi, C. (2021). Full crystallographic orientation (c and a axes) of warm, coarse-grained ice in a shear-dominated setting: A case study, Storglaciären, Sweden. Cryosphere, 15, 303-324. doi: 10.5194/tc-15-303-2021

Journal - Research Article

Fan, S., Hager, T. F., Prior, D. J., Cross, A. J., Goldsby, D. L., Qi, C., Negrini, M., & Wheeler, J. (2020). Temperature and strain controls on ice deformation mechanisms: Insights from the microstructures of samples deformed to progressively higher strains at −10, −20 and −30 ºC. Cryosphere, 14(11), 3875-3905. doi: 10.5194/tc-14-3875-2020

Journal - Research Article

King, A., Lepine, P., Gorman, A. R., Prior, D. J., Lukács, A., Bowman, M. H., Fan, S., Robertson, A., Lutz, F., … Schjins, H. (2020). Shallow seismic reflection imaging of the Alpine Fault through late Quaternary sedimentary units at Whataroa, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2020.1823433

Journal - Research Article

Lutz, F., Eccles, J., Prior, D. J., Craw, L., Fan, S., Hulbe, C., Forbes, M., Still, H., … Mandeno, D. (2020). Constraining ice shelf anisotropy using shear wave splitting measurements from active-source borehole seismics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 125(9), e2020JF005707. doi: 10.1029/2020JF005707

Journal - Research Article

Qi, C., Prior, D. J., Craw, L., Fan, S., Llorens, M.-G., Griera, A., Negrini, M., … Goldsby, D. L. (2019). Crystallographic preferred orientations of ice deformed in direct-shear experiments at low temperatures. Cryosphere, 13(1), 351-371. doi: 10.5194/tc-13-351-2019

Journal - Research Article

Monz, M. E., Hudleston, P. J., Prior, D. J., Michels, Z., Fan, S., Negrini, M., Langhorne, P. J., & Qi, C. (2020). Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) based determination of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) in warm, coarse-grained ice: A case study, Storglaciären, Sweden. Cryosphere Discussions. Advance online publication. doi: 10.5194/tc-2020-135

Journal - Research Other

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Goldsby, D. L., Hager, T. F., Cross, A. J., & Negrini, M. (2021). The control of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) development and grain size reduction on ice mechanical weakening. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 69). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Prior, D., Bowman, M. H., Craw, L., Ershadi, M. R., Drews, R., Fan, S., … Hulbe, C., … Still, H., Thomas, R., … Wild, C. (2021). The Priestley Glacier deformation experiment. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 67). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thomas, R., Prior, D., Kerr, G., Goldsby, D., Cross, A., Hager, T., Negrini, M., & Fan, S. (2021). Water chemistry and ice mechanics. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 69-70). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Craw, L., Treverrow, A., Fan, S., Cook, S., McCormack, F., & Roberts, J. (2020). Twenty sheep and a lasagne: Using temperature changes to shorten ice deformation experiments. Proceedings of the New Zealand Snow & Ice Research Group (SIRG) Annual Meeting. (pp. 10). Retrieved from https://sirg.org.nz

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S. (2020). Temperature and strain controls on ice deformation mechanisms: Insights from the microstructures of samples deformed to progressively higher strains at -10, -20 and -30°c. Proceedings of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand (GSNZ) Annual Conference. Retrieved from https://confer.eventsair.com/gsnz2020

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Hager, T. F., Cross, A. J., & Goldsby, D. L. (2020). The control of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) development and grain size reduction on ice mechanical weakening (enhancement). Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. C010-0013. Retrieved from https://www.agu.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hager, T. F., Qi, C., Fan, S., Prior, D. J., Thomas, R., Cross, A. J., & Goldsby, D. L. (2020). Grain-size-sensitive creep of ice in the 'dislocation creep' regime. Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. C015-03. Retrieved from https://www.agu.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Monz, M., Hudleston, P. J., Prior, D. J., Michels, Z. D., Fan, S., Negrini, M., & Qi, C. (2020). Microstructural analysis of intensely sheared, coarse-grained marginal ice on Storglaciären, Sweden, using cryo-electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. C010-0007. Retrieved from https://www.agu.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Prior, D. J., Bons, P. D., Cross, A. J., Durham, W. B., Fan, S., Goldsby, D. L., … Qi, C. (2020). Flow laws for ice sheet modelling: What do experiments tell us? Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. C010-0003. Retrieved from https://www.agu.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Prior, D., Bons, P., Cross, A., Durham, W., Fan, S., Goldsby, D., … Qi, C. (2020). Flow laws for ice sheet modelling: What do experiments tell us? Proceedings of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference. 1372. Retrieved from https://www.scar2020.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Prior, D., Bowman, H., Craw, L., Fan, S., Forbes, M., Horgan, H., … Hulbe, C., … Still, H., Thomas, R., … Wild, C. (2020). The priestly glacier deformation experiment. Proceedings of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference. 1377. Retrieved from https://www.scar2020.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thomas, R. E., Prior, D. J., Kerr, G., Fan, S., Goldsby, D. L., Cross, A. J., … Negrini, M. (2020). Water chemistry and ice mechanics. Proceedings of the New Zealand Snow & Ice Research Group (SIRG) Annual Meeting. (pp. 27). Retrieved from https://sirg.org.nz

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thomas, R., Prior, D., Kerr, G., Fan, S., Goldsby, D., Cross, A., … Negrini, M. (2020). Water chemistry and ice mechanics. Proceedings of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference. 524. Retrieved from https://www.scar2020.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S., Prior, D., Bowman, H., Craw, L., Kim, D., King, A., Forbes, M., … Gorman, A., & Hulbe, C. (2019). Constraining the large-scale crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) of a fast-shearing Antarctic ice glacier from seismic anisotropy. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Our future in focus. (pp. 82). New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute. Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/science/new-zealand-antarctic-science-conference-2019

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Monz, M., Hudleston, P. J., Michels, Z. D., Prior, D. J., Fan, S., Negrini, M., Langhorne, P., & Qi, C. (2019). Crystallographic preferred orientation in warm, coarse-grained ice: A cast study, Storglaciären, Sweden. Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. C41E-1508. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Platt, J. P., Mitchell, T. M., Prior, D. J., Negrini, M., Fan, S., Jefferd, M., & Winnard, B. R. (2019). Significance of high-temperature deformational microstructures in quartz and ice. Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. T41A-08. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Prior, D., Bowman, H., Craw, L., Fan, S., & Kim, D. (2019). Seismology of an active shear margin: Priestley Glacier, Antarctica. Proceedings of the New Zealand Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG) Workshop. (pp. 16). Retrieved from https://sirg.org.nz

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thomas, R. E., Prior, D. J., Kerr, G., Fan, S., Goldsby, D. L., Cross, A. J., … Negrini, M. (2019). Water chemistry and ice mechanics. In P. J. J. Kamp & A. Pittari (Eds.), Geoscience Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication. 154A, (pp. 199). Wellington, New Zealand: GSNZ. [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S., & Prior, D. (2018). The influence of micron-scale second phase particles on creep behaviour and microstructural evolution of experimentally deformed ice. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 20, EGU2018-153-2. [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S., & Prior, D. J. (2018). The correlation between the mechanical behaviour and microstructural evolution in ice creep development: Insight from experimentally deformed ice with micro-scale particulate second phase. Proceedings of the New Zealand Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG) Workshop. (pp. 24). Retrieved from https://sirgnz.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/sirg-2018-programme.pdf

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Prior, D., Chao, Q., Craw, L., Durham, W., Fan, S., Golding, N., … Seidemann, M., & Vaughan, M. (2018). The control of strain rate, temperature and strain on the symmetry, shape and magnitude of anisotropy developed during ice deformation. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 20, EGU2018-11349. [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S., & Prior, D. J. (2017). Seismic anisotropic characteristics interpreted from ice CPO modelling. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Challenging science in a challenging environment. (pp. 40). New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute. Retrieved from https://antarctic2017.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fan, S. (2018, August). The impact of particles on rheological and microstructural evolution of ice. Verbal presentation at the Polar Environment Research Theme (PERT) Workshop, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Fan, S. (2021). The evolution of deformation mechanisms during the mechanical weakening of polycrystalline ice: A quantitative microstructural study (PhD). University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/10723

Awarded Doctoral Degree

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