Charlie Oldman

The Open University


Pulses, sources and timescales: tectonic implications of melting during mountain-belt formation


Clare Warren, Tom Argles, Nigel Harris (OU), Christopher Spencer (Curtin University)

PhD Summary

My project aims to constrains the source, reactions, and timescales of melting within the Himalaya, as well as the repeat-rate of these melting pulses. Study samples will be from the Badrinath Valley transect in the Garhwal region of the Indian Himalaya. This area host a snap-shot of the entire orogenic granite production line from high-grade metamorphics to pluton-feeding granite intrusions. Samples will be dated using laser-ablation split-stream and SHRIMP methods on zircon and monazite at Curtin University, Australia. U-Pb, O, and Hf isotopic and trace element data will enable the linking of mineral ages to geological processes through petrological interrogation and trace element reaction signatures.

What inspires you

I’ve been curious about natural processes for as long as I can remember and growing up on the Dorset coastline exposed me to fossils and geological formations at a young age. What started as a small collection of fossils and minerals soon became my hobby, but it wasn’t until I had the chance to study geology as an A-level subject that I realised it was the science I wanted to study and contribute to.

Previous activity

Before joining the Open University, I studied an MSci in geology at the University of Southampton. During these four years I undertook an Independent Mapping Project in County Galway, Ireland, and an Advanced Independent Research Project into the timing, temperature, and distribution of hydrothermal alteration in the lower crust of the Samail ophiolite, Oman.

Why did you choose doctoral research?

I knew I wanted to continue with academia only a couple of years into my degree. The concept of actively contributing to the Earth science community and finding answers to research questions was too enticing. As soon as I started research during my fourth year at Southampton, I knew the challenge of Doctoral Research was what I wanted to do next.

Why did you choose CENTA?

The various training courses and resources available to students within CENTA are all any budding researcher could ask for in order to find their footing. The partnership of five universities under one name also provides opportunities to meet with research professionals from different institutions and fields.

Future plans

My time studying at the Open University, with additional training through CENTA, will advance my understanding of geology, enhance my ability as a researcher, and further my career. I hope to apply the skills I gain during this time to either further research and the promotion of Earth science or related work in industry.