Professor of Tectonics
Director, Cambridge Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage
Geophysics, Geodynamics and Tectonics
Michael Bickle is accepting applications for PhD students.
Michael Bickle is available for consultancy.
My research combines field based, petrological and geochemical research projects with physical modelling in order to understand better the important processes which control global evolution. Most of the research has been related to tectonic processes within the solid Earth but most recently I have been working on solid earth-hydrosphere-atmosphere interactions. This work investigates the controls on long-term climate change through an understanding of river chemistry. The major long-term mechanism for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is through weathering of silicates on the continents with the CO2 transported by rivers to the ocean where it is deposited as a carbonate. Our research examines how much the erosive exhumation of the Himalayas is responsible for climatic cooling over the last 50 myr.
My other interests include the thermal evolution of mountain belts, the tectonic processes which operated in the early Earth, the physical processes which control melting within the Earth and determining the significance of fluid-flow in metamorphic rocks. My most recent work focuses on fluid-mineral reaction kinetics associated with geological carbon sequestration.
Current research interests include:
- Weathering, erosion and chemical fluxes in Asian rivers and implications for long-term climate change [1-5]
- Tectonic evolution of the Himalayan-Tibetan continental collision inferred from the metamorphic and detrital records [6-8]
- Ocean ridge hydrothermal fluxes: modelling hydrothermal fluid transport of heat and matter in ocean crust and ophiolites and using time constraints from U-series analyses of sulphides from active mounds [9, 10]
- Geochemistry and bio-geochemistry of the Earth's earliest (Archaean) oceans: constraints from the isotopic and geochemical record in iron formations 
- Development of Ca/Mg isotope systematics to determine weathering rates and fluxes to the oceans [4, 12, 13]
- Fluid-mineral reaction kinetics and modelling of CO2-rich flows to understand the sequestration of carbon-dioxide in geological reservoirs [14, 15]
- M.J. Bickle, H.J. Chapman, J. Bunbury, N.B.W. Harris, I.J. Fairchild, T. Ahmad, C. Pomiès (2005) The relative contributions of silicate and carbonate rocks to riverine Sr fluxes in the headwaters of the Ganges, Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta 69, 2221–2240.
- A.J. West, A. Galy, M.J. Bickle (2005) Tectonic and Climatic Controls on Silicate Weathering,Earth and Planetary Science Letters 235, 211-228.
- E.T. Tipper, M.J. Bickle, A. Galy, A.J. West, C. Pomiès, H.J. Chapman (2006) The short term climatic sensitivity of carbonate and silicate weathering fluxes: Insight from seasonal variations in river chemistry, Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta 70, 2737–2754.
- E.T. Tipper, A. Galy, M.J. Bickle (2006) Riverine evidence for a fractionated reservoir of Ca and Mg on the continents: Implications for the oceanic Ca cycle,Earth and Planetary Science Letters 247, 267–279.
- D. Vance, M.J. Bickle, S. Ivy-Ochs, P. Kubik (2003) Erosion and Exhumation in the Himalaya from cosmogenic isotope inventories of river sediments, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 206, 273-288.
- J.A. Becker, M.J. Bickle, A. Galy, T.J.B. Holland (2007) Himalayan metamorphic CO2 fluxes: Quantitative constraints from hydrothermal springs, Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
- N.M. White, M.S. Pringle, E. Garzanti, M.J. Bickle, Y. Najman, H.J. Chapman, P.F. Friend (2002) Constraints on the exhumation and erosion of the High Himalayan Slab, NW India, from foreland basin deposits, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 195, 29-44.
- M.J. Caddick, M.J. Bickle, N.B.W. Harris, T.J.B. Holland, M.S.A. Horstwood, R.R. Parrish, T. Ahmad (2007) Burial and exhumation history of a Lesser Himalayan schist: Recording the formation of an inverted metamorphic sequence in NW India, Earth And Planetary Science Letters 26, 375–390.
- A. Davis, M.J. Bickle, D.A.H. Teagle (2003) Imbalance in the oceanic strontium budget, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 211, 173-187.
- D.A.H. Teagle, M.J. Bickle, J.C. Alt (2003) Recharge flux to ocean-ridge black smoker systems: a geochemical estimate from ODP Hole 504B, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 210, 81-89.
- N.V. Grassineau, E.G. Nisbet, M.J. Bickle, C.M.R. Fowler, D. Lowry, D.P. Mattey, P. Abell, A. Martin (2001) Antiquity of the biological sulphur cycle: evidence from sulphur and carbon isotopes in 2700 million-year-old rocks of the Belingwe Belt, Zimbabwe, Proceedings of the Royal Society, London Series B 268, 113-119.
- E.T. Tipper, A. Galy, J. Gaillardet, M.J. Bickle, H. Elderfield, E.A. Carder (2006) The magnesium isotope budget of the modern ocean: Constraints from riverine magnesium isotope ratios, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 250, 241–253.
- N.G. Sime, C.L. De La Rocha, E.T. Tipper, A. Tripati, A. Galy, M.J. Bickle (2007) Interpreting the Ca isotope record of marine biogenic carbonates, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71, 3979–3989.
- S. Lyle, H.E. Huppert, M. Hallworth, M. Bickle, A. Chadwick (2005) Axisymmetric gravity currents in a porous medium, Journal of Fluid Mechanics 543, 293-302.
- M. Bickle, A. Chadwick, H.E. Huppert, M. Hallworth, S. Lyle (2007) Modelling carbon dioxide accumulation at Sleipner: Implications for underground carbon storage, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 255, 164–176.
cceoas ; Petrology ; Stable isotopes ; Geochemistry ; Geophysics
Recent publications can be found in the departmental publications database here