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David Stonestrom

Research Hydrologist

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Short Biography

Dave Stonestrom is a Research Hydrologist in the National Research Program (NRP) of the USGS Water Resources Mission Area. He serves as the NRP Groundwater Research Co-Advisor and as the NRP Research Coordinator of the USGS Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS). As Lead Scientist for “Integrative Unsaturated Zone Studies,” he conducts field, laboratory, and theoretical research into processes governing fluid, solute, and energy transport through unsaturated zones in relation to groundwater recharge, contaminant transport, surface-water/groundwater interactions, pedogenesis, and evolution of hydrologic systems through time. He has conducted investigations of unsaturated zones in settings ranging from tropical mountain rainforests to outgassing alpine volcanoes and from coastal wetlands to hyperarid deserts. He holds a BS in Geology from Dickinson College and an MS and PhD in Hydrology from Stanford University.





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INVENTIONS, PATENTS HELD:

    

Co-determination apparatus and method for simultaneous measurement of parametric functions of unsaturated flow (Stonestrom and Rubin, 1989a, 1989b).

Soapfilm flowmeter device for measuring gas flow rates, U. S. Patent No. 258,955, U. S. Department of Commerce Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC (Stonestrom, 1990).

Cryodistillation apparatus for quantitative analysis of the isotopic composition of unsaturated zone water (Prudic, Stonestrom, and Striegl, 1997; Stonestrom, Prudic and Striegl, 1999).

Unsaturated zone gas samplers, NSF Critical Zone Exploration Network, Nov. 2006 http://www.czen.org/files/czen/Soil%20Site%20Instrumentation-Gas%20Samplers.pdf.

   

  

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

   

Stonestrom, D. A. and Rubin, J., 1989a, Water-content dependence of trapped air in two soils: Water Resources Research, v. 25, no.9, p. 1947–1958, doi:10.1029/WR025i009p01959,

Stonestrom, D. A., and Rubin, J., 1989b, Air permeability and trapped-air content in two soils: Water Resources Research, v. 25, no.9, p. 1959–1969, doi:10.1029/WR025i009p01947.

Nimmo, J.R., Stonestrom, D.A., and Akstin, K.C., 1994, The feasibility of recharge-rate determinations using the steady-state centrifuge method: Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 58, no. 1, p. 49–56, doi:10.2136/sssaj1994.03615995005800010007x.

Stonestrom, D.A. and Akstin, K.C., 1994, Nonmonotonic matric pressure histories during constant flux infiltration into homogeneous profiles: Water Resources Research, v. 30, no. 1, p. 81–91, doi:10.1029/93WR02476.

Stonestrom, D.A., 1996, An overview of unsaturated-flow theory as applied to the phenomena of infiltration and drainage, in Stevens, P.R., and Nicholson, T.J., eds., Proceedings of the U.S. Geological Survey—U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Joint Technical Workshop on Research Related to Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal; Reston, Virginia, 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 95–4015, p. 83–90.

Prudic, D.E., Stonestrom D.A., and Striegl, R.G., 1997, Tritium, deuterium, and oxygen-18 in water collected from unsaturated sediments near a low-level radioactive-waste burial site south of Beatty, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 97–4062, 23 p.

Stonestrom, D.A., Akstin, K.C., and Michel, R.L., 1997, Environmental tracers of recharge where the mountains meet the plain: Preliminary results of lateral and longitudinal transects along Abo Arroyo, Bear Canyon, and the Santa Fe River at the eastern margin of the middle Rio Grande Basin, New Mexico, in Bartolino, J.R., ed., Middle Rio Grande Basin study – Proceedings of the First Annual Workshop, Denver, Colorado, November 12–14, 1996: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97–116, p. 48.

Stonestrom, D.A., White, A.F., and Akstin, K.C., 1998, Determining rates of chemical weathering in soils – Solute transport versus profile evolution: Journal of Hydrology, v. 209, p. 331–345, doi:10.1016/S0022-1694(98)00158-9.

Lewis, A.M., Nimmo, J.R., and Stonestrom, D.A., 1999, Recharge estimates interpreted from centrifuge hydraulic property measurements of core samples from Abo Arroyo, Middle Rio Grande Basin, New Mexico, in Bartolino, J.R., ed., U.S. Geological Survey Middle Rio Grande Basin Study – Proceedings of the Third Annual Workshop, Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 24–25, 1999: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Open-File Report 99–203, p. 69–70.

Stonestrom, D.A., Prudic, D.E., and Striegl, R.G., 1999, Isotopic composition of water in a deep unsaturated zone beside a radioactive-waste disposal area near Beatty, Nevada, in Morganwalp, D.W., and Buxton, H.T., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program – Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8–12, 1999 – Volume 3 – Subsurface Contamination from Point Sources: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 99–4018C, p. 467–473.

Constantz, J.E., Stonestrom, D.A., Stewart, A.E., Niswonger, R.G., and Smith, T.R., 2001, Analysis of streambed temperatures in ephemeral channels to determine streamflow frequency and duration: Water Resources Research, v. 37, no. 2, p. 317–328, doi:10.1029/2000WR900271.

Evans, W.C., Sorey, M.L., Kennedy, B.M., Stonestrom, D.A., Rogie, J.D., and Shuster, D.L., 2001, High CO2 emissions through porous media: Transport mechanisms and implications for flux measurement and fractionation: Chemical Geology, v. 117, p. 15–29, doi:10.1016/S0009-2541(00)00379-X.

NAS/NRC Committee on the Review of Hanford’s Site Environmental Remediation Science and Technology Plan, 2001, Science and technology for environmental cleanup at Hanford: Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 180 p.

Stonestrom, D.A., 2002, Review of Vadose Zone Science and Technology Solutions, by B.B. Looney and R.W. Falta, Ground Water, v. 40, n. 6, p. 572.

Andraski, B.J., Sandstrom, M.W., Michel, R.L., Radyk, J.C., Stonestrom, D.A., Johnson, M.J., and Mayers, C.J., 2003, Simplified method for detecting tritium contamination in plants and soil: Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 32, n. 3, p. 988–995, doi:10.2134/jeq2003.9880.

Schulz, M.S., Harden, J.W., Weber, G.E., Anderson, S.P., White, A.F., Perg, L., Stonestrom, D.A., Reimer, P.J., and Masiello, C.A., 2003, Geo-ubiquity; chemical, hydrological and physical evolution of coastal terraces near Santa Cruz, California, in Easterbrook, D.J., ed., Quaternary Geology of the United States; INQUA 2003 Field Guide Volume: Reno, NV, Desert Research Institute, p. 399–406.

Stonestrom, D.A., Prudic, D.E., Laczniak, R.J., Akstin, K.C., Boyd, R.A., and Henkelman, K.K., 2003, Estimates of deep percolation beneath irrigated fields, native vegetation, and the Amargosa River channel, Amargosa Desert, Nye County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03–104, 83 p.

Stonestrom, D.A., and Constantz, J., eds., 2003, Heat as a tool for studying the movement of ground water near streams: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1260, 96 p.

Stonestrom, D.A., and Blasch, K.W., 2003, Determining temperature and thermal properties for heat-based studies of surface-water groundwater interactions, in Stonestrom, D.A., and Constantz, J., eds., Heat as a tool for studying the movement of ground water near streams: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1260, p. 73–80.

Walvoord, M.A., Phillips, F.M., Stonestrom, D.A., Evans, R.D., Hartsough, P.C., Newman, B.D., and Striegl, R.G., 2003, A reservoir of nitrate beneath desert soils: Science, v. 302, no. 5647, p. 1021–1024, doi:10.1126/science.1086435.

Stonestrom, D.A., and Constantz, J., 2004, Using temperature to study stream-ground water exchanges: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004–3010, 4 p.

Stonestrom, D.A., Abraham, J.D., Andraski, B.J., Baker, R.J., Mayers, C.J., Michel, R.L., Prudic, D.E., Striegl, R.G., and Walvoord, M.A., 2004, Monitoring radionuclide contamination in the unsaturated zone—lessons learned at the Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nye County, Nevada, in Proceedings, Workshop on Long-term Performance Monitoring of Metals and Radionuclides in the Subsurface, Reston, VA: Tallahassee, Florida, CISTEMS, 6 pp., at URL http://www.cistems.fsu.edu/PDF/stonestrom.pdf

Stonestrom, D.A., Prudic, D.E., Laczniak, R.J., and Akstin, K.C., 2004, Tectonic, climatic, and land-use controls on groundwater recharge in an arid alluvial basin: Amargosa Desert, U.S.A., in Hogan, J.F., Phillips, F.M., and Scanlon, B.R., eds., Groundwater Recharge in a Desert Environment: The Southwestern United States, Water Science and Applications Series, v. 9: Washington, D.C., American Geophysical Union, p. 29–47, doi:10.1029/0009WSA03.

Walvoord, M.A., Stonestrom, D.A., Andraski, B.J., and Striegl, R.G., 2004, Constraining the inferred paleohydrologic evolution of a deep unsaturated zone in the Amargosa Desert: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 3 no. 2, p. 502–512, doi:10.2113/3.2.502.

Andraski, B.J., Stonestrom, D.A., Michel, R.L., Halford, K.J., and Radyk, J.C., 2005, Plant-based plume-scale mapping of tritium contamination in desert soils: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 4, p. 819–827, doi:10.2136/vzj2005.0052.

Green, C.T., Stonestrom, D.A., Bekins, B.A., Akstin, K.C., and Schulz, M.S., 2005, Percolation and transport in a sandy soil under a natural hydraulic gradient: Water Resources Research, v. 41, p. 17 p., doi:10.1029/2005WR004061.

Mayers, C.J., Andraski, B.J., Cooper, C.A., Wheatcraft, S.W., Stonestrom, D.A., and Michel, R.L., 2005, Modeling tritium transport through a deep unsaturated zone in an arid environment: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 4, no. 4, p. 967–976, doi:10.2136/vzj2004.0179.

Nimmo, J.R., Healy, R.W., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2005, Aquifer recharge, in Anderson, M.G., and Bear, J., eds., Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences: Chichester, UK, John Wiley & Sons, p. 2229–2246, doi:10.1002/0470848944.hsa161a.

Scanlon, B.R., Reedy, R.C., Stonestrom, D.A., Prudic, D.E., and Dennehy, K.F., 2005, Impact of land use and land cover change on groundwater recharge and quality in the southwestern US: Global Change Biology, v. 11, no. 10, p. 1577-1593, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.01026.x.

Walvoord, M.A., Striegl, R.G., Prudic, D.E., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2005, CO2 dynamics in the Amargosa Desert: Fluxes and isotopic speciation in a deep unsaturated zone: Water Resources Research, v. 41, no. 2, W02006, p. 1–15, doi:10.1029/2004WR003599.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., Stonestrom, D.A., and Harden, J.W., 2005, Chemical weathering rates of a soil chronosequence on granitic alluvium: III. Hydrochemical evolution and contemporary solute fluxes and rates: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 69, no. 8, p. 1975–1996, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2004.10.003.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2006, Controls on soil pore water solutes: An approach for distinguishing between biogenic and lithogenic processes: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 88, p. 363–366, doi:10.1016/j.gexplo.2005.08.076.

Blasch, K.W., Constantz, J., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2007, Appendix 1, Thermal methods for investigating groundwater recharge, in Stonestrom, D.A., Constantz, J., Ferré, T.P.A., and Leake, S.A., eds., Groundwater recharge in the arid and semi-arid southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1703, p. 353-375.

Rao, B.A., Anderson, T.A., Orris, G.J., Rajagopalan, S., Sandvig, R.M., Scanlon, B.R., Stonestrom, D.A., Walvoord, M.A., and Jackson, W.A., 2007, Widespread natural perchlorate in unsaturated zones of the southwest US: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 41, p. 4522–4528, doi:10.1021/es062853i.

Stewart-Deaker, A.E., Stonestrom, D.A., and Moore, S.J., 2007, Streamflow, infiltration, and groundwater recharge at Abo Arroyo, New Mexico, in Stonestrom, D.A., Constantz, J., Ferré, T.P.A., and Leake, S.A., eds., Groundwater recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1703 [chap. D], p. 83–105.

Stonestrom, D.A., Constantz, J., Ferré, T.P.A., and Leake, S.A., eds., 2007, Groundwater recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1703, Reston, VA, 414 p.

Stonestrom, D.A., and Harrill, J.R., 2007, Groundwater recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States—Climatic and geologic framework, in Stonestrom, D.A., Constantz, J., Ferré, T.P.A., and Leake, S.A., eds., Groundwater recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1703  [chap. A], p. 1–27.

Stonestrom, D.A., Prudic, D.E., Walvoord, M.A., Abraham, J.D., Stewart-Deaker, A.E., Glancy, P.A., Constantz, J., Laczniak, R.J., and Andraski, B.J., 2007, Focused groundwater recharge in the Amargosa Desert Basin, in Stonestrom, D.A., Constantz, J., Ferré, T.P.A., and Leake, S.A., eds., Groundwater recharge in the arid and semi-arid southwestern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1703 [chap. E], p. 107–136.

Niswonger, R.G., Prudic, D.E., Fogg, G.E., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2008, Method for estimating spatially variable seepage loss and hydraulic conductivity in intermittent and ephemeral streams: Water Resources Research, v. 44, doi:10.1029/2007WR006626.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Vivit, D.V., Blum, A.E., Stonestrom, D.A., and Anderson, S.P., 2008, Chemical weathering of a marine terrace chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California I: Interpreting rates and controls based on soil concentration-depth profiles: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 72, no. 1, p. 36–68, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2007.08.029.

Garcia, C.A., Andraski, B.J., Stonestrom, D.A., Cooper, C.A., Johnson, M.J., Michel, R.L., and Wheatcraft, S.W., 2009, Transport of tritium contamination from the shallow unsaturated zone to the atmosphere in an arid environment: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 8, no. 2, p. 450-461, doi:10.2136/vzj2008.0022.

Maher, K., Steefel, C.I., White, A.F., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2009, The role of reaction affinity and secondary minerals in regulating chemical weathering rates at the Santa Cruz Soil Chronosequence, California: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 73, no. 10, p. 2804-2831, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.01.030.

Michel, R.L., Izbicki, J.A., McMahon, P.B., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2009, Use of isotopes for the study of pollutant behaviour in the unsaturated zone at three semi-arid sites in the USA, in Aggarwal, P.K., and Kulkarni, K.M., eds., Application of Isotopes to the Assessment of Pollutant Behaviour in the Unsaturated Zone for Groundwater Protection: IAEA-TECDOC-1618: Vienna, Austria, International Atomic Energy Agency, p. 205-218.

Scanlon, B.R., Stonestrom, D.A., Reedy, R.C., Leaney, F.W., Gates, J., and Cresswell, R.G., 2009, Inventories and mobilization of unsaturated zone sulfate, fluoride, and chloride related to land use change in semiarid regions, southwestern US and Australia: Water Resources Research, v. 45, doi:10.1029/2008WR006963.

Stonestrom, D.A., 2009, Assessing recharge across the southwest: Southwest Hydrology, v. 8, no. 1, p. 10-11.

Stonestrom, D.A., Scanlon, B.R., and Zhang, L., 2009, Introduction to special section on Impacts of Land Use Change on Water Resources: Water Resources Research, v. 45, W00A00, doi:10.1029/2009WR007937.

White, A.F., Schulz, M.S., Stonestrom, D.A., Vivit, D.V., Fitzpatrick, J., Bullen, T.D., Maher, K., and Blum, A.E., 2009, Chemical weathering of a marine terrace chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California. Part II: Solute profiles, gradients and the comparisons of contemporary and long-term weathering rates: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 73, no. 10, p. 2769-2803, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.01.029.

Garcia, C.A., Andraski, B.J., Stonestrom, D.A., Cooper, C.A., Simunek, J., and Wheatcraft, S.W., 2011, Interacting vegetative and thermal contributions to water movement in desert soil: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 10, no. 2, p.552–564, doi:10.2136/vzj2010.0023.

Schulz, M., Stonestrom, D., von Kiparski, G., Lawrence, C., Masiello, C., White, A., and Fitzpatrick, J., 2011, Seasonal dynamics of CO2 profiles across a soil chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California: Applied Geochemistry, v. 26, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.03.048.

Andraski, B.J., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2011, Waste isolation and contaminant migration-tools and techniques for monitoring the saturated zone-unsaturated zone-plant-atmosphere continuum, in Arlt, H., and Nicholson, T., eds., Engineered Barrier Performance Related to Low-Level Radioactive Waste, Decommissioning, and Uranium Mill Tailings Facilities. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission NUREG/CP-0195, p. 3-5 to 3-8.

Stonestrom, D.A., 2011, Estimating Groundwater Recharge [book review]: Eos Trans. AGU, v. 92, no. 32, doi:10.1029/2011EO320008.

Stonestrom, D.A., 2011, Comment on “Calculating the average natural recharge in large areas as a factor of their lithology and precipitation” by E. Sanz et al.: Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., v. 8, p. C2143.

Baker, R.J., Andraski, B.J., Stonestrom, D.A., and Luo, W., 2012, Volatile organic compounds in the unsaturated zone from radioactive wastes: Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 41, no. 4, p. 1324-1336, doi:10.2135/jeq2011.0480.




                           

My Science Topics


Science Topic
Subtopic
Water Resourceswater quality
Water Resourcesground water
Plants and Animalsvegetation
Environmental Issuesland use change
Environmental Issueswaste treatment and disposal
Natural Resourcessoil resources
Natural Hazardsvolcanic gas emission



My USGS Science Strategy Areas

A National Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program

Climate Variability & Change

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Unsaturated Zones:

Current models of radionuclide transport do not account for observed rates of tritium migration from areas used for disposal of radioactive wastes (for example, Mayers and others, 2005). Previous work has examined the key roles of climate and vegetation in controlling overall Holocene water balance (Walvoord and others, 2004) and in mediating tritium exchange with the atmosphere (Garcia and others, 2011). Present efforts are examining the nature and migration of co-disposed volatile organic compounds (Baker and others, 2012) and their possible role in facilitating radionuclide transport through physical and biochemical means.


Groundwater Recharge and Unsaturated Zone Salts—Impacts of Climate and Land-Use Change:

Despite being among the most important components of hydrologic budgets, quantifying recharge has long eluded progress. Previous efforts culminated in the development and application of high-resolution water-balance modeling along with ground-based thermal, chemical, and isotopic-tracer techniques to quantify groundwater recharge for a one-million square-kilometer portion of the arid and semiarid southwestern United States (Stonestrom and others, 2007). This work established the importance of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and monsoonal influences in determining recharge timing and amount. Related work also showed how atmospherically derived solutes including chloride, nitrate, sulfate, and perchlorate have been accumulating in the shallow subsurface under xeric climatic conditions but that these accumulations are readily mobilized by land conversion (Stonestrom and others, 2003; Walvoord and others, 2003; Rao and others, 2007; Scanlon and others, 2009). Current work is exploring the interrelated dynamics of nitrate and perchlorate in relation to plants and topography.   

   

COAST—Carbon Observatories Along Shoreline Terraces:

   

This effort builds on past work relating pedogenesis to unsaturated-zone fluxes of water and solutes over seasonal to hectomillennial time frames (Stonestrom and others, 1998; White and others, 2006; Maher and others, 2009) to address questions regarding the long-term fate of carbon in deep soil profiles. Soil chronosequences represented by coastal Pacific marine terraces serve as natural laboratories for examining coupled changes in solid composition, solute composition, and water movement through recent geologic time. By establishing chronosequences along a climatic gradient, a better picture of natural carbon sequestration in soils and sequestration's sensitivity to climate shifts will hopefully emerge.


Contact Information

David Stonestrom
Bldg 15, McKelvey Building, 345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3561
dastones@usgs.gov
650-329-4528
650-329-4538 - Fax
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