Current Role at Stanford

I manage the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory in the Mitchell Building, part of the Environmental Measurements Facility 2 (EMF2) at Stanford's School of Earth Sciences. The lab houses 8 analyzer systems interfaced with 5 mass spectrometers which are used for high-precision stable isotope measurements of a wide variety of materials from terrestrial as well as marine environments. My role there is to ensure smooth operation of the instrumentation, to closely monitor the quality of the generated data, and to work with students and researchers to optimize existing or develop new methods for both sample preparation and analysis.

Education & Certifications

  • PhD, Dartmouth College, Earth Sciences (1996)
  • Diploma, Universität Karlsruhe, Germany, Geology (1988)

Work Experience

  • Research and Development Scientist and Engineer, Stanford University (January 1, 2007)


    450 Serra Mall, Stanford CA 94305

  • Associate Professor, Universität Potsdam. (9/1/2004 - 12/31/2006)

    Teaching of courses in Structural Geology, Introductory Geology, and Geodynamics. Research projects in SE Tibet, SW Tibet, India, and the Patagonian Andes.



  • Professor, Universität Hannover (9/1/2003 - 8/31/2004)

    Temporary replacement position. Teaching of courses in Structural Geology, Introductory Geology, and Geodynamics.



  • Assistant Professor, Universität Potsdam. (3/1/1997 - 8/31/2003)

    Teaching of courses in Structural Geology and Introductory Geology. Research projects in central Tibet, the Patagonian Andes, and the Lake Malawi Rift.



  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Universität Potsdam. (July 1, 1996 - 2/28/1997)

    Research project in the northern Pamir mountains, Tajikistan.



All Publications

  • Stable isotopic evidence for climate and basin evolution of the Late Cretaceous Songliao basin, China PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY Chamberlain, C. P., Wan, X., Graham, S. A., Carroll, A. R., Doebbert, A. C., Sageman, B. B., Blisniuk, P., Kent-Corson, M. L., Wang, Z., Wang ChengShan, C. S. 2013; 385: 106-124
  • Tectonic and climatic control on evolution of rift lakes in the Central Kenya Rift, East Africa QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS Bergner, A. N., Strecker, M. R., Trauth, M. H., Deino, A., Gasse, F., Blisniuk, P., Duehnforth, M. 2009; 28 (25-26): 2804–16
  • Sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, and paleoecology of the monsoon-driven, fluvio-lacustrine Zhada Basin, SW-Tibet SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY Kempf, O., Blisniuk, P. M., Wang, S., Fang, X., Wrozyna, C., Schwalb, A. 2009; 222 (1-2): 27-41
  • delta O-18 and delta D of streamwaters across the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau: Implications for moisture sources and paleoelevation reconstructions EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS Hren, M. T., Bookhagen, B., Blisniuk, P. M., Booth, A. L., Chamberlain, C. 2009; 288 (1-2): 20–32
  • The basin-range system along the south segment of the Karakorum fault zone, Tibet INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY REVIEW Wang, S., Blisniuk, P., Kempf, O., Fang, X., Chun, F., Wang, E. 2008; 50 (2): 121-134
  • Orthogonal to oblique rifting: effect of rift basin orientation in the evolution of the North basin, Malawi Rift, East Africa BASIN RESEARCH Mortimer, E., Paton, D. A., Scholz, C. A., Strecker, M. R., Blisniuk, P. 2007; 19 (3): 393–407
  • Chemical weathering, erosion, and CO2 consumption in the southern Tibetan plateau and eastern syntaxis of the Himalaya 17th Annual V M Goldschmidt Conference Hren, M. T., Chamberlain, C. P., Hilley, G. E., Blisniuk, P. M., Bookhagen, B. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 2007: A419–A419
  • Major ion chemistry of the Yarlung Tsangpo-Brahmaputra river: Chemical weathering, erosion, and CO2 consumption in the southern Tibetan plateau and eastern syntaxis of the Himalaya GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA Hren, M. T., Chamberlain, C. P., Hilley, G. E., Blisniuk, P. M., Bookhagen, B. 2007; 71 (12): 2907-2935
  • Channel geometries and internal deformation patterns of the Playa Las Tablas channel-levee system, Nicaragua Atlas of deep-water outcrops Struss, I., Blisniuk, P., Brandes, C., Kischkies, M., Winsemann, J. AAPG. 2007; 56
  • Anatomy of anticlines, piggy-back basins and growth strata: a case study from the Limon fold-and-thrust belt, Costa Rica SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES, ENVIRONMENTS AND BASINS: A TRIBUTE TO PETER FRIEND Brandes, C., Astorga, A., Blisniuk, P., Littke, R., Winsemann, J., Nichols, G., Williams, E., Paola, C. 2007; 38: 91–110
  • Continental response to active ridge subduction GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Haschke, M., Sobel, E. R., Blisniuk, P., Strecker, M. R., Warkus, F. 2006; 33 (15)
  • Links between Mountain Uplift, Climate, and Surface Processes in the Southern Patagonian Andes ANDES: ACTIVE SUBDUCTION OROGENY Blisniuk, P. M., Stern, L. A., Chamberlain, C., Zeitler, P. K., Ramos, V. A., Sobel, E. R., Haschke, M., Strecker, M. R., Warkus, F., Oncken, O., Chong, G., Franz, G., Giese, P., Gotze, H. J., Ramos, V. A., Strecker, M. R., Wigger, P. 2006: 429–40
  • Mechanics and erosion of basement-cored uplift provinces JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Hilley, G. E., Blisniuk, P. M., Strecker, M. R. 2005; 110 (B12)
  • Stable isotope paleoaltimetry: A critical review AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE Blisniuk, P. M., Stern, L. A. 2005; 305 (10): 1033–74
  • Climatic and ecologic changes during Miocene surface uplift in the Southern Patagonian Andes EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS Blisniuk, P. M., Stern, L. A., Chamberlain, C. P., Idleman, B., Zeitler, P. K. 2005; 230 (1-2): 125–42
  • Rates of late Quaternary normal faulting in central Tibet from U-series dating of pedogenic carbonate in displaced fluvial gravel deposits EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS Blisniuk, P. M., Sharp, W. D. 2003; 215 (1-2): 169–86
  • Stable isotope composition of precipitation across the southern Patagonian Andes JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES Stern, L. A., Blisniuk, P. M. 2002; 107 (D23)
  • Normal faulting in central Tibet since at least 13.5 Myr ago NATURE Blisniuk, P. M., Hacker, B. R., Glodny, J., Ratschbacher, L., Bi, S. W., Wu, Z. H., McWilliams, M. O., Calvert, A. 2001; 412 (6847): 628-632


    Tectonic models for the evolution of the Tibetan plateau interpret observed east-west thinning of the upper crust to be the result of either increased potential energy of elevated crust or geodynamic processes that may be unrelated to plateau formation. A key piece of information needed to evaluate these models is the timing of deformation within the plateau. The onset of normal faulting has been estimated to have commenced in southern Tibet between about 14 Myr ago and about 8 Myr ago and, in central Tibet, about 4 Myr ago. Here, however, we report a minimum age of approximately 13.5 Myr for the onset of graben formation in central Tibet, based on mineralization ages determined with Rb-Sr and 40Ar-39Ar data that post-date a major graben-bounding normal fault. These data, along with evidence for prolonged activity of normal faulting in this and other Tibetan grabens, support models that relate normal faulting to processes occurring beneath the plateau. Thinning of the upper crust is most plausibly the result of potential-energy increases resulting from spatially and temporally heterogeneous changes in thermal structure and density distribution within the crust and upper mantle beneath Tibet. This is supported by recent geophysical and geological data, which indicate that spatial heterogeneity exists in both the Tibetan crust and lithospheric mantle.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170318000038

    View details for PubMedID 11493918

  • ESR dating of the evolution of the Shuanghu basin in the northern Tibetan Plateau ACTA GEOLOGICA SINICA-ENGLISH EDITION Wu, Z. H., Jiang, W., Blisniuk, P., Bi, S. W., Zhang, S. K., Kuchel, O., Mao, Y. 1999; 73 (3): 289–93
  • Foreland normal fault control on northwest Himalayan thrust front development TECTONICS Blisniuk, P. M., Sonder, L. J., Lillie, R. J. 1998; 17 (5): 766–79

    View details for DOI 10.1029/98TC01870

    View details for Web of Science ID 000076683600007


    View details for DOI 10.1029/90JB02568

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JG86200010