William Guenthner

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My primary research interests are in the field of low-temperature thermochronology, where I measure specific 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 mountain belt evolution-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 state-of-the-art noble gas extraction and measurement line. With several other faculty, I also share wet chemistry lab space, an Analyte Excite excimer laser for laser ablation studies, and an iCap Q ICP-MS. Please visit my personal website (link on the left) 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

Office Address

3022 Natural History Building

Office Phone


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Research Output

  • 12 Article
  • 1 Conference contribution
  • 1 Review article

A New Correction for He Loss Applied to (U-Th)/He Dating of Grains with Complex Shapes and Polymineralic Aggregates

Huber, C., Guenthner, W. & Karani, H., Dec 1 2019, In : Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 20, 12, p. 5744-5764 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Thermochronology links denudation of the Great Unconformity surface to the supercontinent cycle and snowball Earth

    DeLucia, M. S., Guenthner, W. R., Marshak, S., Thomson, S. N. & Ault, A. K., Feb 1 2018, In : Geology. 46, 2, p. 167-170 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Zircon grain selection reveals (de)coupled metamictization, radiation damage, and He diffusivity

    Ault, A. K., Guenthner, W. R., Moser, A. C., Miller, G. H. & Refsnider, K. A., Jun 25 2018, In : Chemical Geology. 490, p. 1-12 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle