Professor Tim Holland FRS
Tim Holland is a petrologist who applies a thermodynamic approach to describing properties of the constituents of metamorphic rocks. His dataset and associated software, THEMOCALC, have become an essential tool for petrological research, for example shedding light on the formation of mountain belts such as the Alps.
Metamorphic rocks form deep within the Earth’s crust in the presence of heat, pressure and fluids. Using Tim’s work, researchers can calculate phase equilibrium diagrams for metamorphic rocks collected at the Earth’s surface and subsequently deduce the conditions of their formation.
Tim was one of the first to demonstrate that rocks found at the surface had previously been buried at depths of over 70 kilometres. His most recent research includes a focus on the thermodynamics of melted silicates — minerals that make up 90 per cent of the crust — and the prediction of melting reactions.
Interests and expertise