David Stonestrom

David Stonestrom

Research Hydrologist

National Research Program

Email: dastones@usgs.gov
Phone: 650-329-4528
Fax: 650-329-4538

345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025



Dave Stonestrom is a Research Hydrologist in the National Research Program (NRP) of the USGS Water Resources Mission Area. He serves as the NRP Research Coordinator of the USGS Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) and as a co-editor of Vadose Zone Journal. 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, pedogenesis, contaminant transport, environmental health, groundwater-surface water interactions, 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 coastal wetlands to hyperarid deserts. He holds a BS in Geology from Dickinson College and MS and PhD degrees in Hydrology from Stanford University.


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 (D.A. 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. 2006http://www.czen.org/files/czen/Soil%20Site%20Instrumentation-Gas%20Samplers.pdf.


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS: (View more at Google Scholar Profile)

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. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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 Researchv. 30, no. 1, p. 81–91. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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: Sciencev. 302, no. 5647, p. 1021–1024. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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 Journalv. 3 no. 2, p. 502–512. https://dx.doi.org/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 Journalv. 4, p. 819–827. https://dx.doi.org/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 Researchv. 41, p. 17 p.. https://dx.doi.org/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 Journalv. 4, no. 4, p. 967–976. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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 Biologyv. 11, no. 10, p. 1577-1593. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2004WR003599

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 Explorationv. 88, p. 363–366. https://dx.doi.org/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 & Technologyv. 41, p. 4522–4528. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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 Actav. 72, no. 1, p. 36–68. https://dx.doi.org/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 Journalv. 8, no. 2, p. 450-461. https://dx.doi.org/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 Actav. 73, no. 10, p. 2804-2831. https://dx.doi.org/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 Researchv. 45. https://dx.doi.org/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 Researchv. 45, W00A00. https://dx.doi.org/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 Actav. 73, no. 10, p. 2769-2803. https://dx.doi.org/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 Journalv. 10, no. 2, p.552–564. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/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. https://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011EO320008

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 Qualityv. 41, no. 4, p. 1324-1336. https://dx.doi.org/10.2135/jeq2011.0480

Maples, S.R., Andraski, B.J., Stonestrom, D.A., Cooper, C.A., Pohll, G., and Michel, R.L., 2013, Tritium plume dynamics in the shallow unsaturated zone in an arid environment: Vadose Zone Journalv. 12, no. 4. https://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2013.05.0080

Stonestrom, D.A., Andraski, B.J., Cooper, C.A., Mayers, C.J., and Michel, R.L., 2013, On the conversion of tritium units to mass fractions for hydrologic applications: Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studiesv. 49, no. 2, p. 250-256. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10256016.2013.766610

Andraski, B.J., Jackson, W.A., Welborn, T.L., Böhlke, J.K., Sevanthi, R., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2014, Soil, plant, and terrain effects on natural perchlorate distribution in a desert landscape: Journal of Environmental Qualityv. 43, no. 3, p. 980-994. https://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2013.11.0453

Stonestrom, D.A., 2014, Terrestrial Biosphere-Atmosphere Fluxes and Transport in the Atmosphere-Vegetation-Soil Continuum: Groundwaterv. 52, no. 6, p. 821-822. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12270

Green, C.T., Walvoord, M.A., Andraski, B.J., Striegl, R.G., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2015, Multimodel analysis of anisotropic diffusive tracer-gas transport in a deep arid unsaturated zone: Water Resources Researchv. 51, p. 1-22. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014WR016055

Jackson, W.A., Böhlke, J.K., Andraski, B.J., Fahlquist, L., Bexfield, L., Eckardt, F.D., Gates, J.B., Davila, A.F., McKay, C.P., Rao, B., Sevanthi, R., Rajagopalan, S., Estrada, N., Sturchio, N., Hatzinger, P.B., Anderson, T.A., Orris, G., Betancourt, J., Stonestrom, D., Latorre, C., Li, Y., and Harvey, G.J., 2015, Global patterns and environmental controls of perchlorate and nitrate co-occurrence in arid and semi-arid environments:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2015.05.016

Meixner, T., Manning, A.H., Stonestrom, D.A., Allen, D.M., Ajami, H., Blasch, K.W., Brookfield, A.E., Castro, C.L., Clark, J.F., Gochis, D.J., Flint, A.L., Neff, K.L., Niraula, R., Rodell, M., Scanlon, B.R., Singha, K., and Walvoord, M.A., 2016, Implications of projected climate change for groundwater recharge in the western United States: Journal of Hydrologyv. 534, p. 124-138.https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.12.027

Ding, X., Kennedy, B.M., Evans, W.C., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2016, Experimental studies and model analysis of noble gas fractionation in porous media: Vadose Zone J.v. 15, no. 2, p. 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2015.06.0095.

Schulz, M., Stonestrom, D.A., Lawrence, C., Bullen, T., Fitzpatrick, J., Kyker-Snowman, E., Manning, J., and Mnich, M., 2016, Structured heterogeneity in a marine terrace chronosequence: Upland mottling: Vadose Zone J.v. 15, no. 2, p. 1-14.http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2015.07.0102.


Stonestrom, D.A., 2016, Groundwater, in Wohl, E., ed., Oxford Bibliographies in Environmental Science: Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, p. 1-39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199363445-0053.