Metamorphism and Tectonics in the Himalaya and Karakoram
A collaboration with M. P. Searle and external co-workers involving several graduate students.
Current and completed D.Phil. projects:
- Brendan Dyck. Tectonic evolution of the Himalayan lower crust; interplay between melt-producing reactions, microstructure and deformation in collisional orogens.
- Owen Weller. Structural, metamorphic and magmatic evolution of the SE Tibetan crust. (Completed 2014)
- Richard Palin. Using advanced metamorphic modelling techniques to investigate the thermal and structural evolution of collisional mountain belts. (Completed 2013)
- Mike Streule. Timing of crustal metamorphism, melting and exhumation of the Greater Himalayan crust, Makalu Himalaya, east Nepal. (Completed 2009)
- Gavin Chan. Ophiolites of south Tibet. (Completed 2009)
- John Cottle. Timing of crustal metamorphism, melting and exhumation of the Greater Himalayan crust, Makalu - Kangshung - Kharta region, South Tibetan Himalaya. (Completed 2008)
- Andy Thow. Metamorphism and tectonics of the Karakoram crust. (Completed 2004)
- Richard Phillips. Macro- and microstructural evolution of the Karakoram Fault. (Completed 2003)
- Robert Simpson. Metamorphism, melting and extension at the top of the High Himalayan Slab in Nepal. (Completed 2002)
- Simon Gough. Subduction-related metamorphism, structure and tectonic evolution of the Kohistan arc and Main Mantle thrust zone, Pakistan Himalaya. (Completed 2002)
- James Fraser. Structural and metamorphic evolution of the deep crust in the Hunza Karakorum, Pakistan. (Completed 2000)
- Chris Walker. The thermal and structural history of the Himalayan Slab, northern India. Detailed field mapping along with microstructural and thermobarometric analysis are employed to construct well-constrained P-T-t paths and infer the thermal and structural evolution of the High Himalayan Slab in Northwest India. (Completed 1999)
- James Walker. Structural evolution of the High Himalayan slab in NW Lahaul and SE Zanskar. (Completed 1998)
- Ben Stephenson. The tectonic and metamorphic evolution of the Main Central Thrust zone and High Himalaya around the Kishtwar and Kulu windows, northwest India. Conditions of metamorphism, determined from electron microprobe data, and microstructural analysis are used to interpret the evolution of the basal sections of the High Himalayan crystalline unit with special reference to the inverted metamorphism. (Completed 1997)
- Malcolm Dransfield. Extensional exhumation of high grade metamorphic rocks in western Norway and the Zanskar Himalaya. (Completed 1994)
On the linked pages you will find some information about our research on the High Himalayan Slab in the Zanskar region of NW India and the Everest region of Nepal and south Tibet.
The High Himalayan Slab, which forms the high-grade metamorphic core of the Himalaya, was metamorphosed during the India-Asia collision and was rapidly uplifted, while still at high temperature, between the Main Central thrust and the South Tibetan detachment zone. We are studying the metamorphic history of the slab to determine the mechanism of its formation and emplacement. The prograde and near-peak P-T path can be calculated from garnets showing prograde growth zoning and from the sequence of assemblages deduced from inclusion suites and microstructural relationships in the matrix. Diffusional closure profiles in garnets from higher-grade rocks and reaction microstructures constrain the retrograde P-T path. The later stages of the exhumation history are deduced from cooling age patterns.
- Illustrated abstract (1996): Metamorphic profiles across the High Himalaya in western Zanskar, India. Thermobarometry and Ar cooling ages, with inferred P-T-time paths.
- P-T-time models for the Himalayan slab. A slide show illustrating how the above data are being used to constrain the exhumation history of the Zanskar Himalaya.
Over the past few years our focus has moved to the Everest area of Nepal, where the upper part of the High Himalayan Slab is well displayed (though not easy of access). My own contribution has been to study the petrological material collected in situ from the northern side of Everest by Lawrence Wager, participant in the 1933 British climbing expedition and subsequently Head of this Department. Lawrence Wager and the Geology of Mt Everest is the web version of a display poster prepared for student open days in 2006.