Leonard Konikow


  Lenny Konikow received a B.A. in geology from Hofstra University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Penn State University.  He worked for the U.S. Geological Survey from1971-2013; he is now an Emeritus Scientist.  His research interests include the development and application of solute-transport models to groundwater problems and the assessment of groundwater depletion.  He is an AGU Fellow and has received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2015. 

          Lenny Konikow received a B.A. in geology from Hofstra University (1966), and a M.S. (1969) and Ph.D. (1973) from Penn State University.  He started with the USGS as a summer student in 1971, working with John Bredehoeft in Colorado.  He worked for the USGS from 1971 through 2013, initially in the Colorado District Office and then transferring to the National Research Program in Denver after about 3 years.  In 1978 he moved to Reston, to work in the Office of Ground Water for 3 years, and then re-joined NRP.  His research interests include the development and application of solute-transport models to groundwater contamination problems, coastal submarine groundwater discharge processes, and groundwater depletion and its contribution to sea-level rise. He retired in November 2013 and has continued active research as an Emeritus Scientist since then.

He is an AGU Fellow and has received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Hydrogeology Division of the Geological Society of America.  He also served as the Vice-President for North America of the International Association of Hydrogeologists during 2008-2012. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2015. 

Recent Accomplishments


Professional Studies/Experience


Professional societies/affiliations/committees/editorial boards

Honors, awards, recognition, elected offices

Scientific/Oral Presentations, Abstracts


Konikow, L. F., and Bredehoeft, J. D., 1974, Modeling flow and chemical-quality changes in an irrigated stream-aquifer system:  Water Resources Research, v. 10, no. 3, p. 546-562.

Konikow, L. F., 1976, Preliminary digital model of ground-water flow in the Madison Group, Powder River Basin and adjacent areas, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska:  U.S. Geol. Survey Water-Res. Inv. 63-75, 44 p.

Konikow, L. F., 1977a Modeling chloride movement in the alluvial aquifer at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado:  U.S. Geol. Survey Water-Supply Paper 2044, 43 p.

Konikow, L. F., and Grove, D. B., 1977, Derivation of equations describing solute transport in ground water:  U.S. Geol. Survey Water-Resources Inv. 77-19, 30 p.

Konikow, L. F., and Bedinger, M. S., 1978, Evaluation of hydrogeologic aspects of proposed salinity control program in Paradox Valley, Colorado:  U.S. Geol. Survey Open-file Report 78-27, 23 p.

Konikow, L. F., and Bredehoeft, J. D., 1978, Computer model of two-dimensional solute transport and dispersion in ground water:  U.S. Geol. Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, Book 7, Chapter C2, 90 p.

Grove, D. B., Miller, R. L., Konikow, L. F., and O'Boyle, P. S., 1979, Hexavalent chromium in ground and surface waters near Telluride, Colorado - A preliminary data report:  U.S. Geol. Survey Open-file Report 79-700, 18 p.

Konikow, L. F., 1985, Extended interpretation of "Process and rate of dedolomitization:  mass transfer and 14C dating in a regional carbonate aquifer" by W. Back and others:  Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., v. 96, no. 6, p. 1096-1099.

Konikow, L. F., and Person, M. A., 1985, Assessment of long-term salinity changes in an irrigated stream-aquifer system:  Water Resources Research, v. 21, no. 11, p. 1611-1624.

Konikow, L. F., 1986, Predictive accuracy of a ground-water model -- Lessons from a postaudit:  Ground Water, v. 24, no. 2, p. 173-184.

Cooley, R. L., Konikow, L. F., and Naff, R. L., 1986, Nonlinear-regression groundwater flow modeling of a deep regional aquifer system: Water Resources Research, v. 22, no. 13, p. 1759-1778.

Silliman, S. E., Konikow, L. F., and Voss, C. I., 1987, Laboratory investigation of longitudinal dispersion in anisotropic media:  Water Resources Research, v. 23, no. 11, p. 2145-2151.

Konikow, L. F., and Mercer, J. M., 1988, Groundwater flow and transport modeling:  Jour.  Hydrology, v. 100, no. 2, p. 379-409.

Sanford, W. E., and Konikow, L. F., 1989, Simulation of calcite dissolution and porosity changes in saltwater mixing zones in coastal aquifers:  Water Resources Research, v. 25, no. 4, p. 655-667.

National Research Council, Committee on Ground Water Modeling Assessment, 1990, Ground Water Models:  Scientific and Regulatory Applications:  National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 303 p. [L.F. Konikow was a member of the committee that prepared this book.]

Konikow, L. F., and Swain, L. A., 1990, Assessment of predictive accuracy of a model of artificial recharge effects in the Upper Coachella Valley, California:  in Selected Papers on Hydrogeology, v. 1, [E.S. Simpson and J.M. Sharp, Jr., eds.], International Assoc. of Hydrogeologists, Proc. 1989 IGC Meeting, Washington, D.C., p. 433-449.

Goode, D. J., and Konikow, L. F., 1990, Apparent dispersion in transient groundwater flow:  Water Resources Research, v. 26, no. 10, p. 2339-2351.

Konikow, L. F., and Bredehoeft, J. D., 1992, Ground-water models cannot be validated: Advances in Water Resources, v. 15, no. 1, p. 75-83.

Sacks, L. A., Herman, J. S., Konikow, L. F., and Vela, A. L., 1992, Seasonal dynamics of groundwater-lake interactions at Doñana National Park, Spain:  Journal of Hydrology, v. 136, no. 2, p. 123-154.

Konikow, L. F., and Rodriguez Arevalo, J., 1993, Advection and diffusion in a variable-salinity confining layer:  Water Resources Research, v. 29, no. 8, p. 2747-2761.

Sanford, W. E., Konikow, L. F., Rowe, G. L., and Brantley, S. L., 1995, Groundwater transport of crater-lake brine at Poás Volcano, Costa Rica:  Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 64, p. 269-293.

National Research Council, 1996, The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant--A Potential Solution for the Disposal of Transuranic Waste:  National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 169 p. [L.F. Konikow was a member of the Committee on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, which prepared this book.]

Konikow, L. F., Goode, D. J., and Hornberger, G. Z., 1996, A three-dimensional method-of-characteristics solute-transport model (MOC3D): U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4267, 87 p.

Lessoff, S. C., and Konikow, L. F., 1997, Ambiguity in Measuring Matrix Diffusion With Single-Well Injection/Recovery Tracer Tests:  Ground Water, v. 35, no. 1, p. 166-176.

Konikow, L.F., Sanford, W.E., and Campbell, P.J., 1997, Constant-concentration boundary condition: Lessons from the HYDROCOIN variable-density benchmark problem:  Water Resources Research, v. 33, no. 10, p. 2253-2261.

Goff, Karin, Lewis, M. E., Person, M. A., and Konikow, L. F., 1998, Simulated effects of irrigation on salinity in the Arkansas River valley in Colorado:  Ground Water, v. 36, no. 1, p. 76-86.

Ewing, R.C., Tierney, M.S., Konikow, L.F., and Rechard, R.P., 1999, Performance assessments of nuclear waste repositories: A dialogue on their value and limitations:  Risk Analysis, v. 19, no. 5, p. 933-958.

Konikow, L. F., and Reilly, T. E., 1999, Seawater Intrusion in the United States: in Sea Water Intrusion in Coastal Aquifers: Concepts, Methods, and Practices [Bear, Cheng, Sorek, Ouazar, and Herrera, eds.], Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, p. 463-506. 

Konikow, L.F., and Ewing, R.C., 1999, Is a Probabilistic Performance Assessment Enough?  Ground Water, v. 37, no. 4, p. 481-482.

Peng, W.-S., Hampton, D.R., Konikow, L.F., Kambham, Kiran, and Benegar, J.J., 2000, Can contaminant transport models predict breakthrough?:  Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, v. 20, no. 4, p. 104-113.

Merritt, M.L., and Konikow, L.F., 2000, Documentation of a computer program to simulate lake-aquifer interaction using the MODFLOW ground-water flow model and the MOC3D solute-transport model:  U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4167, 146 p.

Konikow, L.F., August, L.L., and Voss, C.I., 2001, Effects of clay dispersion on aquifer storage and recovery in coastal aquifers: Transport in Porous Media, v. 43, no. 1, p. 45-64.

National Research Council, 2003, One Step at a Time: The Staged Development of Geologic Repositories for High-Level Radioactive Waste: National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 201 p. [Konikow was a member of the Committee that prepared this book.]

Russell, T.F., Heberton, C.I., Konikow, L.F., and Hornberger, G.Z, 2003, A Finite-Volume ELLAM for Three-Dimensional Solute-Transport Modeling: Ground Water, v. 41, no. 2, p. 258-272.

Prudic, D.E., Konikow, L.F., and Banta, E.R., 2004, A new streamflow-routing (SFR1) package to simulate stream-aquifer interaction with MODFLOW-2000:  U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1042, 95 p.

Ewing, R.C., Palenik, C.S., and Konikow, L.F., 2004, Comment on “Probabilistic risk analysis for a high-level radioactive waste repository” by B.L. Cohen: Risk Analysis, v. 24, no. 6, p. 1417-1419.

Konikow, L.F., and Glynn, P.D., 2005, Modeling Groundwater Flow and Quality: in Essentials of Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health [O. Selinus et al., Eds.], Chapter 31, p. 737-765.

Zinn, B.A., and Konikow, L.F., 2005, MODFLOW Data Extractor Program: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1143, 7 p.

Konikow, L.F., and Kendy, Eloise, 2005, Groundwater depletion: A global problem: Hydrogeology Journal, v. 13, no. 1, p. 317-320.

Konikow, L.F., 2006, From Data Gathering to Ground-Water Modeling: in Sánchez-Vila, X., Cabrera, M.C., and Valverde, M. [eds.], From Data Gathering and Groundwater Modelling to Integrated Management, Proc. of IAH Workshop, Alicante, Spain, Oct. 2005, Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, Madrid, p. 17-31.

Konikow, L.F., and Hornberger, G.Z., 2006, Use of the Multi-Node Well (MNW) Package when simulating solute transport with the MODFLOW Ground-Water Transport Process:  U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6-A15, 34 p.

Konikow, L.F., Hornberger, G.Z., and Zinn, B.A., 2006, Simulating effects of Multi-Node Wells on solute transport: in MODFLOW and More 2006: Managing Ground-Water Systems [E. Poeter, M.C. Hill, C. Zheng, eds.], Proceedings Vol. 2, Internat. Ground Water Modeling Center, Colo. School of Mines, Golden, CO, p. 668-672.

Harte, P.T., Konikow, L.F., and Hornberger, G.Z., 2006, Simulation of solute transport across low-permeability barrier walls: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 85, p. 247-270.

Konikow, L.F., and Hornberger, G.Z., 2006, Modeling effects of multinode wells on solute transport: Ground Water, v. 44, no. 5, p. 648-660, doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2006.00231.x

Konikow, L.F., Reilly, T.E., Barlow, P.M., and Voss, C.I., 2007, Chapter 23: Groundwater Modeling, in Delleur, J. [ed.], The Handbook of Groundwater Engineering: Second Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 54 p.

Zinn, B.A., and Konikow, L.F., 2007, Effects of intraborehole flow on groundwater age distribution: Hydrogeology Journal, v. 15, no. 4, p. 633-643, doi:10.1007/s10040-006-0139-8.

Zinn, B.A., and Konikow, L.F., 2007, Potential effects of regional pumpage on groundwater age distribution: Water Resources Research, v. 43, W06418, doi:10.1029/2006WR004865.

Konikow, L.F., and Neuzil, C.E., 2007, A method to estimate groundwater depletion from confining layers: Water Resources Research, v. 43, W07417, doi:10.1029/2006WR005597.

Konikow, L.F., and Neuzil, C.E., 2007, Impacts and magnitude of groundwater depletion: in Proc. XXXV IAH Congress, Groundwater and Ecosystems, L. Ribeiro, A. Chambel, and M.T. Condesso de Melo [Eds.], Lisbon, 8 p.

Konikow, L.F., Hornberger, G.Z., Putnam, L.D., Shapiro, A.M., and Zinn, B.A., 2008, The use of age as a calibration target: in J.C. Refsgaard, K. Kovar, E. Haarder, and E. Nygaard [eds.], Calibration and Reliability in Groundwater Modelling: Credibility of Modelling, IAHS Pub. 320, p. 250-256.

Neuzil, C. E., and L. F. Konikow, 2008, Reply to comment by T. N. Narasimhan on “A method to estimate groundwater depletion from confining layers”: Water Resources Research, v. 44, W06421, doi:10.1029/2008WR007084.

Konikow, L.F., Hornberger, G.Z., Halford, K.J., and Hanson, R.T., 2009, Revised multi-node well (MNW2) package for MODFLOW ground-water flow model: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6–A30, 67 p.

Cluckie, I.D., Chen, Y., Babovic, V., Konikow, L.F., Mynett, A., Demuth, S., and Savic, D.A. [Eds.], 2009, Hydroinformatics in Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Water Resources: IAHS Pub. 331, 525 p.

Konikow, L.F., 2010, Representing pump-capacity relations in groundwater simulation models: Ground Water, v. 47, no. 1, p. 106-110. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.2009.00619.x.

Konikow, L.F., 2010, Applying dispersive changes to Lagrangian particles in groundwater transport models: Transport in Porous Media, DOI 10.1007/s11242-010-9571-2.

Konikow, L.F., 2011, The Secret to Successful Solute-Transport Modeling: Ground Water, v. 49, no. 2, p. 144-159. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2010.00764.x.

Konikow, L.F., 2011, Contribution of global groundwater depletion since 1900 to sea-level rise: Geophys. Res. Lett., v. 38, L17401, doi:10.1029/2011GL048604.

Church, J.A., White, N.J., Konikow, L.F., Domingues, C.M., Cogley, J.G., Rignot, E., Gregory, J.M., van den Broeke, M.R., Monaghan, A.J., and Velicogna, I., 2011, Revisiting the Earth's sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 38, L18601, doi:10.1029/2011GL048794.

Bredehoeft, J.D., and Konikow, L.F., 2012, Reflections on Our Model Validation Editorial: Ground Water, v. 50, no. 4, p. 495.

Konikow, L.F., 2013, Overestimated water storage: Nature Geoscience, v. 6, p. 3 [correspondence].

Konikow, L.F., and Glynn, P.D., 2013, Modeling groundwater flow and quality, in Selinus, O., ed., Essentials of Medical Geology: Revised Edition, Springer, Ch. 33, p. 727-753, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-4375-5_33.

Konikow, L.F., Akhavan, Maryam, Langevin, C.D., Michael, H.A., and Sawyer, A.H., 2013, Seawater circulation in sediments driven by interactions between seabed topography and fluid density: Water Resources Research, v. 49, p. 1386-1399, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20121.

Taylor, R.G., Scanlon, Bridget, Döll, Petra, Rodell, Matt, van Beek, Rens, Wada, Yoshihide, Longuevergne, Laurent, Leblanc, Marc, Famiglietti, J.S., Edmunds, W.M., Konikow, L.F., and others, 2013, Ground water and climate change: Nature Climate Change, v. 3, p. 322-329, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1744.

Konikow, L.F., 2013, Groundwater depletion in the United States (1900−2008): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013−5079, 63 p.

Russoniello, C.J., Fernandez, Cristina, Bratton, J.F., Banaszak, J.F., Krantz, D.E., Andres, A.S., Konikow, L.F., and Michael, H.A., 2013, Geologic effects on groundwater salinity and discharge into an estuary: Jour. of Hydrology, v. 498, p. 1-12, doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.05.049.

Konikow, L.F., 2013, Book review: Too hot to touch: The problem of high-level nuclear waste, by William M. Alley and Rosemarie Alley (Cambridge University Press, 2013): Hydrogeology Journal, v. 21, no. 8, p. 1909-1910, DOI 10.1007/s10040-013-1028-6.

Gregory, J. M., White, N. J., Church, J. A., Bierkens, M. F. P., Box, J. E., Van den Broeke, M. R., Cogley, J. G., Fettweis, X., Hanna, E., Huybrechts, P., Konikow, L. F., Leclercq, P. W., Marzeion, B., Oerlemans, J., Tamisiea, M. E., Wada, Y., Wake, L. M. and Van de Wal, R. S. W., 2013, Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Journal of Climate, v. 26, p. 4476-4499, DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1.

Konikow, L.F., and Leake, S.A., 2014, Depletion and Capture: Revisiting “The Source of Water Derived from Wells”: Groundwater, v. 52, no. S1, p. 100-111. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12204.

Konikow, L.F., 2015, Long-term groundwater depletion in the United States: Groundwater, v. 53, no. 1, p. 2-9, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12306.