Peer-Reviewed Publications


  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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