My primary research interests are in the fields of low-temperature thermochronology and tectonics, where I use the (U-Th)/He radiogenic isotopic systems to describe the thermal histories of rocks in the upper crust. Thermochronology has numerous applications in the geosciences, and my main focus is on using the collection of thermochronologic tools to understand the dates and rates of mountain creation and destruction, and the long-term ups and downs of cratons. I'm also interested in refining our understanding of the systematics that underpin the various thermochronometers at our disposal. This interest manifests as research in the kinetics of noble gas diffusion in complex minerals (e.g. zircon). My work therefore combines field and laboratory components.
At UIUC, I run a (U-Th)/He lab, the centerpiece of which is a noble gas extraction and measurement line with a diode laser microfurnace, cyrogenic trap, and gas source quadrupole mass spectrometer. I co-manage several fume hoods in a class 1000 clean lab for apatite and zircon dissolution, and share with several faculty an Analyte Excite excimer laser for laser ablation studies, and an iCap Q ICP-MS for isotope dilution work. Please visit my personal website for more information. I am open to collaborations so please contact me if you have interest in visiting the lab!
- Ph.D. University of Arizona
- M.S. University of Arizona
- B.A. Carleton College
- 107 Physical Geology
- 411 Structural Geology
- 564 Geochronology
Colleps, C. L., McKenzie, N. R., Guenthner, W. R., Sharma, M., Gibson, T. M., & Stockli, D. F. (2021). Apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronometric constraints on the northern extent of the Deccan large igneous province. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 571, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117087
Dendy, S. N., Guenthner, W. R., Grimley, D. A., Conroy, J. L., & Counts, R. C. (2021). Detrital zircon geochronology and provenance of Pleistocene loess and contributing glacial sources, midcontinental USA. Quaternary Science Reviews, 273, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107201
Guenthner, W. R. (2021). Implementation of an Alpha Damage Annealing Model for Zircon (U-Th)/He Thermochronology With Comparison to a Zircon Fission Track Annealing Model. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 22(2), [e2019GC008757]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GC008757
Kaempfer, J. M., Guenthner, W. R., & Pearson, D. M. (2021). Proterozoic to Phanerozoic Tectonism in Southwestern Montana Basement Ranges Constrained by Low Temperature Thermochronometric Data. Tectonics, 40(11), [e2021TC006744]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021TC006744
Moser, A. C., Ault, A. K., Stearns, M. A., Evans, J. P., & Guenthner, W. R. (2021). Late Oligocene–Early Miocene Detachment Faulting in Crystalline Basement, Mecca Hills, CA, Documented With Zircon (U–Th)/He Date-eU-Visual Radiation Damage Patterns. Tectonics, 40(9), [e2021TC006809]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021TC006809