Professor Mike Searle, University of Oxford
The crash of the Indian plate into Asia is the biggest known collision in geological history, and it continues today. The result is the Himalaya and Karakoram – one of the largest mountain ranges on Earth. The Karakoram has half of the world’s highest mountains and a reputation as being one of the most remote and savage ranges of all. This talk will present a rich account of the geological forces that were involved in creating these mountain ranges. Using his personal accounts of extreme mountaineering and research in the region, he pieces together the geological processes that formed such impressive peaks.
Background reading. Mike’s book “Colliding Continents”is highly recommended.
Mike is Professor of Earth Sciences and Senior Research Fellow, at Worcester College, Oxford. He researches the tectonic, structural, metamorphic and magmatic evolution of mountain belts, in particular the Himalayan ranges of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and south Tibet, and the Karakoram and Hindu Ranges. He also specialises in the tectonics of the Oman – United Arab Emirates mountain range in Arabia, the Worlds’ largest and best exposed ophiolite. He has spent more than 35 years carrying out fieldwork in these mountain ranges. During the last 15 years he has also worked extensively in Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Yunnan, as well as specific projects in the Cyclades Islands, Greece, Northern Scotland, and SW England. He retired in 2021 and continues to do active research, mainly in Nepal, Oman, Greece, Scotland and Cornwall.
Mike has been in the Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford University since 1989, first as a Post-Doctoral Research fellow, then as a Professor. He is a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, and an Honorary Professor at Camborne School of Mines in Penryn, Cornwall, part of the University of Exeter. He has written three books, Geology and Tectonics of the Karakoram Mountains (1991; J. Wiley), Colliding Continents (2013, 2017; OUP), and Geology of the Oman Mountains, Eastern Arabia (2019; Springer). He has written more than 240 peer-reviewed papers and has published several geological maps, including the Geological Map of the Central Karakoram Ranges (1991), and the Geological Map of the Mount Everest – Makalu area, Nepal and South Tibet (2003, 2007). He has co-edited six books, all Special Publications of the Geological Society, London.
This lecture will be held as a Zoom meeting. Society members for whom we have email addresses will be sent an invitation a few days before the event. If you are a member but are not on our email list, or a non-member who would like to join the meeting, please email the society’s meetings secretary to request an invitation.