Dr. Charles H. Langmuir


Professor of Geochemistry
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
20 Oxford Street, Room 109
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-384-9948
Fax: 617-496-6958
email: langmuir@eps.harvard.edu


Charles "Charlie" Langmuir has discovered hydrothermal sites in three ocean basins, and recently co-led the first investigation of the Arctic Ocean ridge system. He has carved a distinguished career in the international science arena investigating many aspects of the solid earth geochemical cycle. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Geochemical Society, and the American Geophysical Union, from which he received the N. L. Bowen Award in 1996. He received the Holmes Medal of the European Union of Geosciences in 2003. Charlie received his B.A. from Harvard University and Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where his dissertation research focused on major and trace elements in basalts. He has been at Harvard since 2002, after 20 years at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Charlie has explored the seafloor through some 20 research cruises over the last two decades.



How to Build a Habitable Planet (Fall 08/09)

Catalog Number: 7621
Tu., Th., 10-11:30, and a weekly section to be arranged. EXAM GROUP: 15, 16

The steps involved in creation of our habitable planet: the Big Bang, origin of the elements, formation of minerals, origin of the solar system, formation of planets, origin of life, co-evolution of ocean, atmosphere, solid earth and biosphere, development of plate tectonics, operation of the modern whole earth system, and climate regulation. Finally we consider the arising of intelligent life that can understand and influence the planetary system, and whether Earth may be a microcosm reflecting laws of planetary evolution that are common to a class of planets throughout the universe, or alternatively may be a low probability accident.


EPS 145









EPS 245

Introduction to Igneous Petrology and Petrogenesis (to be offered in 2009/10)

Catalog Number: 5940
Half course (spring term). Tu., Th., 2:30-4 and a weekly section to be arranged. EXAM GROUP: 16, 17
How igneous rocks form and reveal the processes and fluxes involved in the circulation of the solid Earth. The course begins with the essential elements of igneous petrology-rock description and nomenclature, mineralogy, phase diagrams, processes of melting and crystallization, trace elements. We then consider the formation of igneous rocks at modern igneous settings - spreading centers, convergent margins and ocean islands. We conclude with investigations of igneous phenomenon of the past, such as large igneous flood basalt provinces, anorthosites, komatiites and the igneous history of the Moon.

Note: Given in alternate years.


Petrological Approaches to Understanding the Earth's System

Catalog Number: 7202
Half course (spring term). Mon. 9:30-11, Wed. 4-5:30

The course studies the igneous processes at spreading centers, convergent margins and hot spots, and explore their influences on mantle, crust, ocean and atmosphere and the constraints they provide for the plate tectonic geochemical cycle.

Note: Given in alternate years.
Prerequisite: EPS 145 or permission of instructor.

Recent Publications

For a full listing of Dr. Langmuir's articles please see his CV.

Huybers, P., and Langmuir, C. (2008). Feedback between deglaciation and volcanic emissions of CO2. Submitted to Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., Sept. 2008.

Escrig, S., Bezos, A., Goldstein, S., Langmuir, C., Michael, P. (2008). Origins of chemical diversity of back-arc basin basalts: A segment scale study of the Northern Eastern Lau Spreading Center. Submitted to Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., Sept 2008.

Bezos, A., Escrig, S., Langmuir, C., Michael, P., Asimow, P. (2008). Origins of chemical diversity of back-arc basin basalts: A segment scale study of the Northern Eastern Lau Spreading Center. Accepted by J. Geophys. Res.

Li Z.L., Yang S.F., Chen H.L., Langmuir C.H., Yu X., Lin X.B., Li Y.Q. (2008). Chronology and geochemistry of Taxinan Permian basalts from the Tarim basin: evidence for Permian plume magmatism. Acta Petrologica Sinica, in press.

Tomascak, P., Langmuir, C., le Roux, P., Shirey, S. (2008). Lithium isotopes in global mid-ocean ridge basalts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72, I 6, 1626-1637, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2007.12.021. PDF

Escartin, J., Smith, D. K., Cann, J., Schouten, H., Langmuir, C.H., and Escrig, S. (2008). Central role of detachment faults in accretion of slow-spreading oceanic lithosphere. Nature, vol.455, doi:10.1038/nature07333. PDF

Straub, S. M., LaGatta A.B., Martin-Del Pozzo A.L., and Langmuir, C.H. (2008). Evidence from high-Ni olivines for a hybridized peridotite/pyroxenite source for orogenic andesites from the central Mexican Volcanic Belt. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q03007, doi:10.1029/2007GC001583 PDF

Goldstein, S.L, Soffer, G., Langmuir, C.H., Lehnert, K.A., Graham, D.W., and Michael, P.J. (2008). Origin of a ‘Southern Hemisphere’ geochemical signature in the Arctic upper mantle. Nature, vol.453, doi:10.1038/nature06919. PDF

Rodriguez, C., Selles, D., Dungan, M., Langmuir, C., Leeman, W. (2007). Adakitic dacites formed by intracrustal crystal fractionation of water-rich parent magmas at Nevado de Longavi volcano. J. Petrol., 48, 2033-2061, doi:10.1093/petrology/egm049. PDF

Gómez-Tuena, A., Langmuir, C., Goldstein, S., Straub, S., Ortega-Gutiérrez, F. (2007). Geochemical evidence for slab melting in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. J. Petrol., 48 (3), 537-562. PDF

Langmuir, C.H., Forsyth, D.W. (2007). Mantle melting beneath mid-ocean ridges. Oceanography 20(1): 78-89. PDF

Langmuir, C., Bezos, A., Escrig, S., Parman, S. (2006). Chemical systematics and hydrous melting of the mantle in Back-Arc Basins. AGU Geophysical Monograph Series166 (2006) 87-146. PDF

German, C.R., Baker E.T., Connelly, D.P., Lupton, J.E., Resing, J., Prien, R.D., Walker, S.L., Edmonds, H.N., & Langmuir, C.H. (2006). Hydrothermal Exploration of the Fonualei Rift & Spreading Centre & NE Lau Spreading Centre. Geochem., Geophys., Geosyst. 7 (11), Q11022, doi:10.1029/2006GC001324. PDF

Asimow P. D., J. E. Dixon, C. H. Langmuir (2004). A hydrous melting and fractionation model for mid-ocean ridge basalts: Application to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Azores. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 5, Q01E16, doi:10.1029/2003GC000568. PDF

Donnelly KE, Goldstein SL, Langmuir CH, et al. (2004). Origin of enriched ocean ridge basalts and implications for mantle dynamics. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 226: 347-366 PDF