Peer-Reviewed Publications


  • Andeskie, A.S. and Benison, K.C., in press, Using sedimentology to address the marine or continental origin of the Permian Hutchinson Salt Member of Kansas: Sedimentology.

  • Johnson, S.S., Millan, M., Graham, H., Benison, K.C., Williams, A., McAdam, A., Knudson, C., Andrejkovicova, S., and Achilles, C., in press, Lipid Biomarkers in ephemeral acid salt lake mudflat/sandflat sediments: Implications for Mars: Astrobiology.

  • Benison, K.C., 2019, How to search for life in martian chemical sediments and their fluid and solid inclusions using petrographic and spectroscopic methods: Frontiers in Environmental Science, v. 7, article 108, doi:103389/fenvs.2019.00108. [pdf]

  • Williams, A.J. Eigenbrode, J., Floyd, M., Wilheim, M.B., O’Reilly, S., Johnson, S.S., Craft, K.L., Knuson, C., Lewis, J.M.T., Buch, A., Glavin, D.P., Freissinet, C., Summons, R., McAdam, A., Benison, K.C., Malespin, C., and Mahaffy, P.R., 2019, Recovery of Fatty Acids from Mineralogic Mars Analogs by TMAH Thermochemolysis for the Sample Analysis at Mars Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Curiosity Rover: Astrobiology, v. 19, n. 4, 25 p., doi: 10.1089/ast.2018.1819. [pdf]

  • Schulmeister, M.K., Andeskie, A.S., and Benison, K.C., 2019, The science and industry of the Permian Hutchinson Salt, in Schulmeister, M.K. and Aber, J.S., eds., Exploring Extreme and Unusual Geology in the Stable Midcontinent: Field Excursions for the 2019 GSA South-Central, North-Central, and Rocky Mountain Sections Joint Meeting: Geological Society of America Field Guide 52, p. 25-35, doi:org/10.1130/2019.0052(02) [pdf}

  • Benison, K.C., 2019, The physical and chemical sedimentology of two high-altitude acid salars in Chile: Sedimentary processes in an extreme environment: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 89, p. 147-167. doi: [pdf]


  • Lee, C.J.D., McMullan, P.E., O’Kane, C.J., Stevenson, A., Santos, I.C., Roy, C., Ghosh, W., Manicelli, R.L., Mormile, M.R., McMullan, G., Banciu, H., Fares, M.A., Benison, K.C., Oren, A., Dyall-Smith, M.L., and Hallsworth, J.E., 2018, NaCl-saturated brines are thermodynamically moderate, rather than extreme, microbial habitats: FEMS Microbiological Reviews, doi: 10.1093/femsre/fuy026. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., Knapp, J.P., DiFrisco, A.J., and Rasbury, E.T., 2018, The Permian Minnekahta Limestone: A saline lake gypsum replaced by calcite: The Mountain Geologist, v. 55, p. 59-73. [pdf]

  • Andeskie, A.S., Benison, K.C., Eichenlaub, L.A., and Raine, R., 2018, Acid-saline-lake systems of the Triassic Mercia Mudstone Group of County Antrim, Northern Ireland: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 88, p. 385-398. doi:10.2110/jsr.2018.14. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., 2018, The Pennsylvanian Pewamo Formation and Haybridge strata of central Michigan: The youngest rocks of the Michigan Basin?: in Grammer, G.M., Harrison III, W.B., and Barnes, D.A., eds., Paleozoic stratigraphy and stratigraphic resources of the Michigan Basin: GSA Special Paper 531, p. 331-339. doi:10.1130/2017.2531(15). [pdf]

  • Zaikova, E., Benison, K.C., M.R. Mormile, and Johnson, S.S., 2018, Microbial communities and their predicted metabolic functions in a desiccating acid salt lake: Extremophiles, v. 22, p. 367-379. doi: 10.1007/s00792-018-1000-4. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., 2017, Gypsum gravel devils in Chile: Movement of largest natural gains by wind?: Geology, v. 45, p. 423-426. doi:10.1130/G38901.1. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., 2017, Gypsum gravel devils in Chile: Movement of largest natural gains by wind?: REPLY: Geology, v. 45, p. e424. doi: 10.1130/G39294Y.1 . [pdf]


  • Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., Parnell, J., Spear, N., Lecuyer, C., Benison, K.C., Meng, F., and Ni, P., 2016, Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen: Geology, v. 44, p. 651-654. doi: 10:1130/G37937.1. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., 2016, Highlights and Breakthroughs: Alunite on Mars: American Mineralogist, v. 101, p. 1499-1500. [pdf]

  • Karmanocky, F.J. III and Benison, K.C., 2016, A fluid inclusion record of hydrothermal pulses in acid Salar Ignorado gypsum, northern Chile: Geofluids, v.16, p. 490-506. doi:10.1111/gfl.12171. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., Zambito, J.J., and Knapp, J.P., 2015, Contrasting siliciclastic-evaporite strata in subsurface and outcrop: An example from the Permian Nippewalla Group of Kansas, U.S.A.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 85, p. 626-645. doi:10.2110/jsr.2015.43. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C. and Bowen, B.B., 2015, The evolution of end-member continental waters: The origin of acidity in southern Western Australia: GSA Today, v. 25, p. 4-10. doi:10.1130/GSATG231A.1. [pdf]

  • Johnson, S.S., Chevrette, M.G., Ehlmann, B, and Benison, K.C., 2015, Insights from the metagenome of an acid salt lake: the role of biology in an extreme depositional environment: PLoS One: 10(4):e0122869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122869. eCollection 2015. [pdf]

  • Soreghan, G.S., Benison, K.C., Foster, T.M., Zambito, J.J., and Soreghan, M.J., 2015, The paleoclimatic and geochronologic utility of coring redbeds and evaporites: A case study from the RKB core (Permian, Kansas, USA): International Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 104, p. 1589-1603. doi: 10.1007/s00531-014-1070-1. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C. and Karmanocky, F.J., III, 2014, Could microorganisms be preserved in Mars gypsum? Insights from terrestrial examples: Geology, v. 42, p. 615-618. doi:10.1130/G35542.1. [pdf]

  • Foster, T., Soreghan, G.S., Soreghan, M.J., Benison, K.C., and Elmore, R. D., 2014, Climatic and palaeogeographic significance of aeolian sediment in the Middle Permian Dog Creek Shale (Midcontinent U.S.): Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 402, p. 12-29. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.02.031. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., Zambito, J.J., Soreghan, G.S., Soreghan, M.J., Foster, T. M., and Kane, M.J., 2013, Permian red beds and evaporites of the Amoco Rebecca K. Bounds core, Greeley County, Kansas: Implications for science and industry, in Dubois, M.K., Watney, W.L., and Tollefson, eds., Mid-Continent Core Workshop: From Source to Reservoir to Seal, Mid-Continent Section American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Kansas Geological Survey and Kansas Geological Society, Wichita, Kansas, p. 9-14. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3170.7603. [pdf]

  • Giles, J.M., Soreghan, M., Benison, K.C., Soreghan, G.S., and Hasiotis, S.T., 2013, Lakes, loess, and paleosols in the Permian Wellington Formation of Oklahoma: Implications for paleoclimate and paleo-geography of the midcontinent: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 83, p. 825-846. doi:10.2110/jsr.2013.59. [pdf]

  • Bowen, B.B., Story, S., Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., and Benison, K.C., 2013, Differences in regolith weathering history at an acid and neutral saline lake on the Archean Yilgarn Craton and implications for acid brine evolution: Chemical Geology, v. 356, p. 126-140. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.08.005. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., 2013, Acid saline fluid inclusions: Examples from modern and Permian extreme lake systems: Geofluids. v. 13, pp. 579-593; doi:10.1111/gfl.12053. [pdf[

  • Conner, A.J. and Benison, K.C., 2013, Acidophilic halophilic microorganisms in fluid inclusions in halite from Lake Magic, Western Australia: Astrobiology, v. 9, p. 850-860. doi:10.1089/ast.2012.0956. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C. and Bowen, B.B., 2013, Extreme sulfur-cycling in acid brine lake environments of Western Australia: Chemical Geology, v. 351, p. 154-167 doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.05.018. [pdf]

  • Zambito, J.J. and Benison, K.C., 2013, Extremely high temperatures and paleoclimate trends recorded in Permian ephemeral lake halite: Geology, v. 41, p. 587-590. doi:10.1130/G34078.1. [pdf]


  • Bowen, B.B., Benison, K.C., and Story, S., 2012, Early diagenesis by modern acid brines in Western Australia and implications for the history of sedimentary modification on Mars in J. Grotzinger & R. Milliken, eds, SEPM Special Publication 102: Sedimentary Geology of Mars, p. 229-252. ISBN 978-1-56576-312-8. [pdf]

  • Zambito, J.J., Benison, K.C., Foster, T., Soreghan, G.S. Kane, M., and Soreghan, M.J., 2012, Lithostratigraphy of the Permian red beds and evaporites in the Rebecca K. Bounds, Core, Greeley County, Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Open File Report 2012-15, 45 p. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., Knapp. J.P., and Dannenhoffer, J.M., 2011, The Pennsylvanian Pewamo Formation and associated Haybridge strata: Toward the resolution of the Jurassic Ionia red bed problem in the Michigan Basin, U.S.A.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 81, p. 459-478. doi:10.2110/jsr.2011.039. [pdf]


  • Story, S., Bowen, B.B., Benison, K.C., and Schulze, D.G., 2010, Authigenic phyllosilicates in modern acid saline lake sediments and implications for Mars: Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, v. 115, 17 pp., E12012, doi:10.1029/2010JE003687. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C. and Knapp. J.P., 2010, Detrital zircons from fluvial Jurassic strata of the Michigan basin: Implications for the transcontinental Jurassic paleoriver hypothesis: Comment: Geology, v. 38, n. 12, p. 228. doi:10.1130/G31436C.1. [pdf]

  • Jagniecki, E.A. and Benison, K.C., 2010, Criteria for the recognition of acid-precipitated halite: Sedimentology, v. 57, p. 273-292. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3091.2009.01112.x. [pdf]


  • Mormile, M.R., Hong, B.-y., and Benison, K.C., 2009, Molecular analysis of the microbial communities of Mars-analog lakes in Western Australia: Astrobiology, v. 9 , p. 919-930. doi:10.1089/ast.2008.0293. [pdf]

  • Farmer, J.D., Bell, J.F., III, Benison, K. C., Boynton, W.V., Cady, S.L., Ferris, F.G., MacPherson, D., Race, M.S., Thiemens, M.H., and Wadhwa, M., 2009, Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions, Space Studies Board, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 80 p. 2010cosp...38.3973R

  • Bowen, B.B. and Benison, K.C., 2009, Geochemical characteristics of naturally acid and alkaline saline lakes in southern Western Australia: Applied Geochemistry, v. 24, p.268-284 doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2008.11.013. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., 2008, Life and death around acid-saline lakes: Palaios, v. 23, p. 571-573. doi:10.2110/palo.2008.S05 [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., Jagniecki, E.A., Edwards, T.B., Mormile, M.C., and Storrie-Lombardi, M.C., 2008, “Hairy blobs”: Microbial suspects from modern and ancient ephemeral acid saline evaporites: Astrobiology, v. 8, n. 4, p. 807-821. doi:10.1089/ast.2006.0034. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., LaClair, D.A., and Walker, J.W., 2008, Acid waters as physical sedimentology agents: Implications for Mars: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 270, p. 330-337 doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.03.036. [pdf]

  • Bowen, B.B., Benison, K.C., Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., Story, S., Mormile, M.R., 2008, Active hematite concretion formation in modern acid saline lake sediments, Lake Brown, Western Australia: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 288, p. 52-63. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.12.023. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., Bowen, B.B., Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E, Jagniecki, E.A., LaClair, D.A., Story, S.L., Mormile, M.R., and Hong, B.Y., 2007, Sedimentology of acid saline lakes in southern Western Australia: Newly described processes and products of an extreme environment: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 77, no. 5, p. 366-388. doi:10.2110/jsr.2007.038 (won SEPM Best Paper Award ) . [pdf]

  • Mormile, M.R., Hong, B-y., Adams, N.T., Benison, K.C., and Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., 2007, Characterization of moderately halo-acidophilic bacterium isolated from Lake Brown, Western Australia: in, Hoover, R.B., Levin, G.V., Rozanov, A.Y., Davies, P.C. (eds.), Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X, Proceedings of SPIE (International Society for Optical Engineering), v. 66940X, p. 1-8. doi:10.1117/12.734741. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C. and Bowen, B.B., 2006, Acid saline lake systems give clues about past environments and the search for life on Mars: Icarus, v. 183, p. 225-229. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.02.018. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., 2006, A Martian Analog in Kansas: Comparing martian strata with Permian acid saline lake deposits: Geology, v. 34, n. 5, p. 385-388. doi:10.1130/G22176.1. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C., 2005, Artificial outcrops give real experience in interpreting a geologic history: The CMUland group project for historical geology students: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 53, p. 501-507. ISSN 1089-9995. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C. and LaClair, D.A., 2003, Modern and ancient extremely acid saline deposits: Terrestrial analogs for Martian environments?: Astrobiology, v. 3, n. 3, p. 609-618. doi:10.1089/153110703322610690. [pdf]

  • Schaefer, M. W., Dyar, M. D., and Benison, K. C., 2003, Mossbauer spectroscopy of Mars-analog rocks from an acid saline environment: NASA Technical Report 20030111385, Goddard Space Flight Center.


  • Benison, K.C. and Goldstein, R.H., 2002, Recognizing acid lakes and groundwaters in the rock record: Sedimentary Geology, v. 151, n. 3-4, p. 177-185. doi:10.1016/S0037-0738(02)00155-0. [pdf]


  • Hartig, K. and Benison, K.C., 2001, Early tidal flat dolomitization in the Silurian Byron Formation of the Michigan Basin; Greenstein, B.J. and Carney, C.K., eds., Proceedings of the 10th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, p. 78-92

  • Benison, K.C. and Goldstein, R.H., 2001, Evaporites and siliciclastics of the Permian Nippewalla Group, Kansas and Oklahoma: A case for nonmarine deposition: Sedimentology, v. 48, p. 165-188. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3091.2001.00362.x. [pdf]


  • Losey, A. and Benison, K.C., 2000, Silurian paleoclimate data through fluid inclusions in the Salina Formation halite of the Michigan Basin: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 15, n. 1, p. 28-36 doi:10.1007/BF03175646. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C. and Goldstein, R.H., 2000, Sedimentology of ancient saline pans: An example from the Permian Opeche Shale, Williston Basin, North Dakota: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 70, p. 159-169. doi: 10.1306/D4268BB7-2B26-11D7-8648000102C1865D. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C. and Goldstein, R.H., 1999, Permian paleoclimate data from fluid inclusions in halite: Chemical Geology, v. 154, p. 113-132.doi:10.1016/S0009-2541(98)00127-2. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.Benison, K.C., Goldstein, R.H., Wopenka, B., Burruss, R.C., and Pasteris, J.D., 1998, Extremely acid Permian lakes and groundwaters in North America: Nature, v. 392, p. 911-914. doi:10.1038/31917. [pdf]


  • Benison, K.C. and Lowenstein, T.K., 1997, Carbonate-hosted mineralization of the Lower Ordovician Ogdensburg Formation: Evidence for a Paleozoic thermal anomaly in the St. Lawrence lowlands of New York and Ontario in Montenez, I., Shelton, K., and Gregg, J., eds., Basin-wide fluid flow and associated diagenetic patterns: Integrated petrologic, geochemical, and hydrologic considerations: SEPM Special Publication No. 57, p. 207-218. ISBN 1-56576-035-2. [pdf]

  • Benison, K.C., 1997, Acid water deposition and diagenesis in Permian red bed-hosted evaporites, midcontinent, U.S.A.: Kansas Geological Survey Open File Report 97-88, 420 p.

  • Benison, K.C., 1997, Field descriptions of sedimentary and diagenetic features in red beds and evaporites of the Nippewalla Group (middle Permian), Kansas and Oklahoma: Kansas Geological Survey Open File Report 97-21, 62 p.


  • Benison, K.C., 1995, Surface water paleotemperatures from Permian Nippewalla Group halite, Kansas: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 10, no. 2, p. 242-248. doi:10.1007/BF03175409