Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lee Davisson

Research Staff
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division

 +1 925-423-5993

M.S. Isotope Geochemistry
University of California at Davis
B.S. Geology
University of California at Davis

Research Interests

Analysis and forensic interpretation of surface chemical residues and surface aging of nuclear material; adsorption/desorption phenomena on indoor materials; development and application of chemical and isotopic tracing techniques; environmental fate chemistry, particularly related to WMD; isotope age-dating; mass spectrometry; chemical separation methods for environmental media.


Erik Oerter, Michael Singleton, M. Lee Davisson, 2018, Hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope dynamics of hyper-saline and salt-saturated aqueous solutions. In review, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 238, 316–328.

Cameron L. Tracy, Chien-Hung Chen, Sulgiye Park, M. Lee Davisson, Rodney C. Ewing, 2018, Measurement of UO2 surface oxidation using grazing-incidence x-ray diffraction: Implications for nuclear forensics. J Nuclear Materials 502, 68–75.

Erik Oerter, Michael Singleton, Lee Davisson, 2017, Hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope signatures of goethite hydration waters by thermogravimetry-enabled laser spectroscopy. Chem. Geology 475, 14–23.

Donald, SB; Davisson, ML; Dai, ZR; Roberts, SK; Nelson, AJ, 2017, Relative impact of H2O and O2 in the oxidation of UO2 powders from 50 to 300 degrees C. J Nuclear Materials 496, 353–361.

Donald, SB; Dai, ZR; Davisson, ML; Jeffries, JR; Nelson, AJ, 2017, An XPS study on the impact of relative humidity on the aging of UO2 powders. J Nuclear Materials 487, 105–112.

Davisson, M.L., T.. Hamilton, A.F.B. Tompson, 2012, Radioactive waste beneath Runit Dome on Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands. Int. J. Environment and Pollution, 49, 3/4, 161-178.

Sickman J.O., C.L. DiGiorgio, M.L. Davisson, D.M. Lucero, B. Bergamaschi, 2010, Identifying sources of dissolved organic carbon in agriculturally dominated rivers using radiocarbon age dating: Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin, California. Biogeochemistry, 99, 79-96.

Love, A.H., A.L. Vance, J.G. Reynolds, M.L. Davisson, M.L., 2004, Investigating the affinities and persistence of VX nerve agent in environmental matrices. Chemosphere, 57, 1257-1264.

Criss R.E. and M.L Davisson, 2004, Fertilizers, water quality, and human health. Environmental Health Perspectives 112, A536-A536.

Leenheer, J.A., T.I. Noyes, C.E. Rostad, and M.L. Davisson, 2004, Characterization and origin of polar dissolved organic matter from the Great Salt Lake. Biogeochemistry. 69, 125-141.

Clark, J.F., G.B. Hudson, M.L. Davisson, G. Woodside, R. Herndon, 2004, Geochemical imaging of flow near an artificial recharge facility, Orange County, California. Ground Water, 42, 167-172.

Vengosh, A., Gill, J., Davisson, M.L., Hudson, G.B., 2002, A multi-isotope (B, Sr, O, H, and C) and age dating (H-3-He-3 and C-14) study of groundwater from Salinas Valley, California: Hydrochemistry, dynamics, and contamination processes. Water Resour. Res., 38, no. 1008.

Criss, RE; Davisson, ML; Kopp, JW, 2001, Nonpoint sources in the lower Missouri River. Journal American Water Works Association, 93, 112-122.

Leenheer, J.A., Rostad, C.E., Barber, L.B., Schroeder, R.A., Anders, R., and Davisson, M.L., 2001, Nature and chlorine reactivity of organic constituents from reclaimed water in groundwater, Los Angeles County, California. Environ. Sci. Technol., 35, 3869-3876.

Davisson, M.L., T.P. Rose, 2001, Interbasin groundwater flow in south central Nevada: A further comment on the discussion between Davisson et al. [1999a, 1999b] and Thomas [1999] – Reply. Water Resour. Res., 37, 435-437.

Macfarlane, PA; Clark, JF; Davisson, ML; Hudson, GB; and others, 2000, Late-quaternary recharge determined from chloride in shallow groundwater in the central Great Plains. Quaternary Research, 53, 167-174.

Davisson, M.L., T.P. Rose, D.K. Smith, J. Kenneally, 1999, Comment on "Isotope hydrology of southern Nevada groundwater: Stable isotopes and radiocarbon" by M. L. Davisson et al. Reply. Water Resour. Res., 35, 3581-3583.

Davisson, M.L., Smith, D.K., Keneally, J., Rose, T.P., 1999, Isotope hydrology of southern Nevada groundwater: stable isotopes and radiocarbon. Water Resources Research 35, 279-294.

Melchiorre, E.B., Criss, R.E., Davisson, M.L., 1999, Relationship between seismicity and subsurface fluids, central Coast Ranges, Califorinia. Journal of Geophysical Review, 104, 921-939.

Doran, P.T., Berger, G.W., Lyons, W.B., Wharton, R.A., Davisson, M.L., Southon, J., Dibb, J.E., 1999, Dating Quaternary lacustrine sediments in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 147, 223-239.

Clark, J.F., Davisson, M.L., Hudson, G.B., Macfarlane, P.A., 1998, Noble gases, stable isotopes, and radiocarbon as tracers of flow in the Dakota aquifer, Colorado and Kansas. Journal Of Hydrology, 211, 151-167.

Rose, T.P. and Davisson, M.L., 1996, Radiocarbon in hydrologic systems containing dissolved magmatic carbon dioxide. Science, 273, 1367-1370.

Davisson, M.L. and Criss, R.E., 1996, Na-Ca-Cl relations in basinal fluids. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 60, 2743-2752.

Rose, T.P., Davisson, M.L., Criss, R.E., 1996, Isotope hydrology of voluminous cold springs in fractured rock from an active volcanic region, northeastern California. Journal of Hydrology, 179, 207-236.

Criss, R.E. and Davisson, M.L., 1996, Isotopic imaging of surface water/groundwater interactions, Sacramento Valley, California. Journal of Hydrology, 178, 205-222.

Davisson, M.L., Presser, T.S., Criss, R.E., 1994, Geochemistry of tectonically expelled fluids from the northern Coast Ranges, Rumsey Hills, California. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 58, 1687-1699.

Davisson, M.L. and Criss, R.E., 1993, Stable isotope imaging of a dynamic groundwater system in the southwestern Sacramento Valley, California (USA). Journal of Hydrology, v. 144, pp. 213-246.

Unruh, J.R., Davisson, M.L., Criss, R.E., Moores, E.M., 1992, Implications of perennial saline springs for abnormally high fluid pressures and active thrusting in western California. Geology, v. 20, pp. 431-434.

Davisson, ML, 2002, Isotope Tracers in Surface Water. American Water Works Association Research Foundation, Denver: CO, 114 pp.

Criss, R.E., M.L. Davisson, H. Surbeck, W. Winston, 2007, Isotopic techniques. In Methods in Karst Hydrogeology. David Drew & Nico Goldscheider (editors). Publisher: International Association of Hydrogeologists, pp. 123-144.

Rose, T.P. and Davisson, M.L., 2003, Delineating Pleistocene- versus Holocene-age groundwater in the Great Basin using environmental isotopes. In Paleoenvironments and Paleohydrology of the Mojave and Southern Great Basin Deserts, Y. Enzel, S.G. Wells, N. Lancaster (eds.). Geological Society of America Special Paper 368.

Davisson, M.L., 2003, Organic matter in rivers: the crossroads between climate and water quality. In Criss, R.E. and Wilson, D. (eds.) Our Water, Our Rivers: St. Louis as a 21st Century River City, Earth Day Symposium in St. Louis, MO, April 26-27, 2001.

Ekwurzel, B., J. E. Moran, C. J. Koester, M. L. Davisson, and G. F. Eaton, 2001, Nonpoint Source MTBE Movement Through the Environment: Ultra Low Level (ppt) Measurements in California. American Chemical Society Symposium Series, Vol. 799, pp. 17-27.

Davisson, M. L., H.A. Ishii, R.N. Leif, 2010, Potential Route Evidence from Fugitive Chemicals Adsorbed to Packaging Materials and Metal Oxides. 51st Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Baltimore, MD, United States, July 11-15, 2010, 10 pp.

Dec, J.E., M.L. Davisson, M. Sjoberg, R. Leif, W. Hwang, 2008, Detailed HCCI exhaust speciation and the sources of hydrocarbon and oxygenated hydrocarbon emissions, SAE Congress Paper Number 2008-01-0053. (peer-review)

Hessel, R.P., D.E. Foster, S.M. Aceves, M.L. Davisson, F. Espinosa-Loza, D.L. Flowers, W.J. Pitz, J.E. Dec, M. Sjöberg, A. Babajimopoulos, 2008, Modeling iso-octane HCCI using CFD with multi-zone detailed chemistry; comparison to detailed speciation data over a range of lean equivalence ratios. SAE Congress Paper Number 08PFL-878 (peer-review)

Davisson, M.L., Hudson, G.B., Esser, B.K., Ekwurzel, B., Herndon, R.L., 1999, Tracing and age-dating recycled waste water recharged for potable reuse in a seawater injection barrier, southern California, USA. International Atomic Energy Agency Symposium on Isotope Hydrology in Water Resources Management, May 1999, Vienna.

Rose, T.P., M.L. Davisson, R.E. Criss, D.K. Smith, 1999, Isotopic Investigation of Recharge to a Regional Groundwater Flow System, Great Basin, Nevada, USA. International Atomic Energy Agency Symposium on Isotope Hydrology in Water Resources Management, May 1999, Vienna.

Koester, C.J., M.L. Davisson, J.E. Moran, 1998, Measurement of methyl-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE) in raw drinking water. American Water Works Association 1998 Water Quality Technology Conference San Diego, CA November 1-5, 1998, 9 pp.

Davisson, M.L., G.B. Hudson, J.E. Moran, S. Niemeyer, R. Herndon, 1998, Isotope tracer approaches for characterizing artificial recharge and demonstrating regulatory compliance. Annual UC Water Reuse Research Conference Monterey, CA June 4-5, 1998, 9 pp.

Davisson, M.L., R.E. Criss, 1995, Stable isotope and groundwater flow dynamics of agricultural irrigation recharge into groundwater resources of the Central Valley, California. International Atomic Energy Agency Symposium on Isotope Hydrology in Water Resources Management, March 20-24, 1995, Vienna.

Davisson, M.L., P.K. Weber, S.P. Velsko, C.E. Ramon, K. Montgomery, 2010, A-List Scoping Study: Elemental variation in Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis supports sample matching. LLNL-Technical Report, 102 pp.

Dombroski, M.J., M.L. Davisson, B.R. Buddemeier, 2008, A Methodology to estimate Prompt Health Effects from and Urban Nuclear Detonation. LLNL-TR-406973, 37 pp.

Davisson, M.L., T.F. Hamilton, 2008, An historical perspective on technical and scientific issues related to the Runit Island low-level radioactive waste disposal site on Enewetak Atoll. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UCRL-TR-403015, 56 pp.

Davisson, M.L., M. Dombroski, B. Buddemeier, K. Turteltaub, R. Wheeler, T. Edmunds, 2007, A methodology to characterize injuries resulting from prompt effects of a low yield nuclear weapon in an urban environment. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UCRL-TR-236457.

Davisson, M.L., M.J. Dombroski, J.I. Daniels, 2006, Assessing the potential for the outdoor release of toxic chemicals and countermeasures to reduce their impact. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UCRL-TR-219140, 113 pp.

Davisson, M.L., A.H. Love, A.L. Vance, J.G. Reynolds, M.L., 2005, Environmental fate of organophosphorus compounds related to chemical weapons. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UCRL-TR-209748, 37 pp.

Davisson, M. L., G.B. Hudson, J.F. Clark, G. Woodside, and R. Herndon. 2004. Final report on isotope tracer investigations in the Forebay of the Orange County ground water basin. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UCRL-TR-201735, 115 pp.

Daniels, J.I., Davisson M.L., Watkins, B.E., Martinelli, R., Morgan D., 2001, Environmental, Safety, and Health Aspects, and Recovery after Detonation, of Two Commercially Available Taggants Under Consideration for Incorporation Into Explosives Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UCRL-AR-145617, 165 pp.

Davisson, M.L., T.P. Rose, 2000, Maxey-Eakin Methods for Estimating Groundwater Recharge in the Fenner Watershed, Southeastern, California. UCRL-ID-139027, 15 pp.

Davisson, M.L., 2000, Discussion Regarding Sources and Ages of Groundwater in Southeastern California. UCRL-ID-138321, 11 pp.

Davisson, M.L., G.F. Eaton, G.B. Hudson, C.J. Koester, 1999, Tracing and Age-dating Injected Groundwater of the West Basin barrier Project Los Angeles, CA. UCRL-ID-133530, 16 pp.

Davisson, M.L., T.P. Rose, 1998, Dual Measurement of 13C and 14C Isotopic Composition to Identify Biodegradation of Fuel Hydrocarbons at the LLNL Gasoline Spill Site. UCRL-ID-132471, 9 pp.

Hudson, G.B., M.L. Davisson, J.E. Moran, 1998, Isotope Measurements for Innovative Groundwater Management. UCRL-ID-130192, 32 pp.

Davisson, M.L., 1998, Isotope Tracers of Organic Carbon During Artificial Recharge. UCRL-ID-129785, 8 pp.

Smith, D.K., T.P. Rose, M.L. Davisson, G.B. Hudson, S. Niemeyer, A.E. Moeller, 1998, Volatile and Fluid Transport in Deep, Arid Soils. UCRL-ID-129653, 14 pp.

Davisson, M.L., T.P. Rose, 1997, Comparative Isotope Hydrology Study of Groundwater Sources and Transport in the Three Cascade Volcanoes of Northern California. UCRL-ID-128423, 46 pp.

Rose, T.P., M.L. Davisson, G.B. Hudson, A.R. Varian, 1997, Environmental Isotope Investigation of Groundwater Flow in The Honey Lake Basin, California and Nevada, UCRL-ID-127978, 71 pp.

Davisson, M.L., K.R. Campbell, 1995, Final Report on the Groundwater Isotope Project in the Brentwood Region of East Contra Costa County, California. UCRL-ID-120326, 118 pp.

Davisson, M.L., J.M. Kenneally, D.K. Smith, G.B. Hudson, G.J. Nimz, J.H. Rego, 1994, Preliminary Report on the Isotope Hydrology Investigations at the Nevada Test Site: Hydrologic Resources Management Program FY 1992-1993, UCRL-ID-116122, 90 pp.

Davisson, M.L., C.A. Velsko, 1994, Rapid extraction of dissolved inorganic carbon from small volumes of natural water for 14C determination by accelerator mass spectrometry. UCRL-JC-119176, 25 pp.

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