Karlis Muehlenbachs


Karlis Muehlenbachs, appointed in 1974, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. in 1966 majoring in chemistry. In 1971 he was granted a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. His thesis was "Oxygen isotope geochemistry of Mid-Ocean rocks" the fIrst comprehensive study of the interaction of sea water with the oceanic crust. Prior to his appointment to the University of Alberta, he held a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington where he discovered the low 180 oxygen isotope anomaly in Icelandic basalts as well as developed laboratory methods that measure oxygen diffusion rates in minerals and melts.

Muehlenbach's research at the University of Alberta has continued in stable isotope geochemistry. In addition to continuing studies in sea floor alteration and 18 0 variations in volcanic rocks, he has also studied isotope geochemistry of groundwaters in southern Alberta and ore deposits in Canadian Cordillera. While on a A.V. Humboldt Fellowship in 1981 at the German Geological Survey, Hanover, he learned techniques of organic isotope geochemistry. These have been successfully utilized to develop isotopic techniques to monitor coal and petroleum upgrading and refming as well as to remotely sense the interaction of steam with rock formation during steam assisted recovery of bitumen and heavy sands. To support these varied research efforts Karlis Muehlenbachs has obtained grants from NSERC, AOSTRA, Alberta Energy Office of Coal Technology, ESSO, NATO, etc.

Muehlenbachs has taught regularly a graduate level course in stable isotope geochemistry, as well as a variety of introductory geology courses. He has served on a wide variety of Departmental committees and was appointed Acting Associate Chairman in 1985 and Associate Chairman in 1987.