Robert Howell Goldstein

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Geology
Haas Distinguished Professor
Associate Dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Primary office:
Strong Hall
Room 200
University of Kansas
1475 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-4974
Second office:
Lindley Hall
Room 313


Expertise and Current Research Activity

Availability of fossil fuel energy currently is essential to modern society. Most of it is produced as oil or natural gas from pores in sedimentary rock deep beneath the surface. Understanding where those pores are preserved without being clogged by mineral precipitates involves studies of very large-scale processes of how and where sediments are generated in tropical seas. In addition, studies at the microscopic scale are required, and involve analyses of the chemical composition of minute mineral crystals and even the droplets of fluid trapped within them.

My research has pioneered the integration of regional-scale geology and microscopic-scale chemistry to reconstruct geologic history with the goal of exploring the earth for the pores that might hold significant oil and gas accumulations. My book on fluid inclusions serves as the standard text for any research lab using this technique. I am asked to share my knowledge in seminars and short courses around the world by academia, government, and industry.

Currently, I co-lead the Kansas Interdisciplinary Carbonates Consortium, an energy-industry-funded research consortium concentrating on a major class of oil and gas reservoir.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

M.S., University of Wisconsin

B.S., Juniata College

Teaching Interests

  • Stratigraphy
  • Carbonate sedimentology
  • Geology
  • Oil


Goldstein’s research specialties include sequence stratigraphy of carbonates, diagenesis, and fluid-inclusion research. Current research focuses on the following: (1) sea-level, paleotopographic, oceanographic, and climate controls on depositional sequence architecture of the Spanish Miocene; (2) modeling reservoir-analog architecture in deep-water and shallow water carbonates; (3) predicting porosity in reservoirs from new conceptual models of carbonate diagenesis; (4) effect of hydrothermal fluids on carbonate and sandstone reservoir rocks; (5) origin and distribution of early and late dolomite; (6) new fluid inclusion techniques for constraining thermal evolution of sedimentary systems; and (7) new fluid inclusion techniques for evaluating history of fluid composition. Currently, he and his students are working on a variety of projects dealing with upstream fossil fuel energy supply including both conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources.

Research Interests

  • Fluid inclusions
  • Diagenesis
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Sea-level
  • Paleotopographic
  • Oceanographic
  • And climate controls on depositional sequence architecture of the Spanish Miocene
  • Modeling reservoir-analog architecture in deep-water and shallow water car

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