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Dr. Matthew Heizler

Dr. Matthew Heizler
Assoc. Dir. For Labs, Sr. Geochronologist
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-6333 fax

My fundamental research goals have been, and continue to be, the application of 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology towards solving geological problems. 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology is probably the best suited method for understanding the thermal evolution of the lithosphere in the 150-500°C temperature interval, thus making it relevant to a wide variety of geological environments. My present research is spread amongst several projects, including: the thermal evolution of Precambrian terranes in the Southwestern U.S. and Canada, thermochronology in the Colorado River Extension zone and applications of thermochronologic data in determining the timing and petrogenesis of economic gold and copper deposits in New Mexico and Nevada. Improving our knowledge of argon systematics is also vital in helping to make sound interpretations of 40Ar/39Ar results. Along this avenue, I continue experimental studies of argon diffusion in K-feldspar and evaluation of the multiple diffusion domain model, and studies of white mica with respect to age spectrum results and recoil phenomenon. Recent applications of directly dating and monitoring the thermal history at the Geysers and Tiwi geothermal systems using the 40Ar/39Ar technique on adularia have proven very insightful. Extension of the commonly dated minerals to phases such as jarosite, barite, and inclusions in quartz have led to advances in analytical techniques and have proven applicable to some geological settings. Lastly, I have become active in dating young (<100 ka) basaltic rocks at various places (most notably near Yucca Mountain) and believe we have overcome some previously established hurdles to produce reproducible and geologically relevant results for these types of samples.

(See Curriculum Vitae)


  • PhD. 1993, UCLA, Geochemistry
  • M.S., 1985,University of Maine @ Orono, Geology
  • B.S., 1982, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Geology
  • A.A., 1980, Vermillion Community College


  • 2017- Associate Director of Laboratories, NM Bureau of Geology
  • 2012-2014 Deputy Director NM Bureau of Geology
  • 2003-Present Senior 40Ar/39Ar Geochronologist, New Mexico Bureau of Geology
  • 1999-2002 Assistant Director of Laboratories, NM Bureau of Geology
  • 1994-Present Adjunct professor, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, NMT
  • 1993-2003 40Ar/39Ar Geochronologist, New Mexico Bureau of Geology
  • 1989-1993 Spectroscopist-40Ar/39Ar Laboratory Manager (UCLA)
  • 1984-1989 Project Associate 40Ar/39Ar Laboratory Manager (SUNY-Albany)

Honors & Awards

2019. GSA Fellow

2022. NM Tech Distinguished Researcher Award