Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Ate Visser

Research Staff
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division

 +1 925-423-0956

Ph.D., cum laude Groundwater Hydrology
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
M.Sc. Physical Geography
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Research Interests

I study the sustainability of water resources by applying environmental tracers in a variety of hydrological systems to investigate sources, path ways and travel times of water. The focus is on combining multiple environmental tracers to calculate water travel time distributions. I manage the environmental Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry laboratory of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences division at LLNL. My work involves developing new tracers for hydrological research and applying these tracers to California's pressing water questions.

The NGMS lab has the capability for routine measurements of low level tritium (detection limit < 1 pCi/L) and dissolved concentrations of noble gases in water samples, including the helium isotope ratio, for the purpose of tritium-helium groundwater dating.

In 2011, we developed the NG-MIMS, a membrane inlet mass spectrometer system to measure dissolved noble gas concentrations in water samples. The NG-MIMS is a a low cost desktop instrument that we applied succesfully in several introduced xenon tracer studies.

Since 2014, the NGMS lab has the capability to measure krypton-85 in groundwater. We can extract gases from large volume (1000L) water samples using a gas extraction system (GES) on-site, purify krypton from the extracted gases and measure the krypton-85 activity by liquid scintillation counting.

We are currently developing the capability to measure the sodium-22 activity in large volume (500L) water samples. Sodium-22 (half-life=2.6 years) is a promising age tracer to complement sulfur-35 (half-life=87 days) and tritium (half-life=12.32 years) for dating young waters.

We receive funding from the State Water Resources Control Board through the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment  (GAMA) program.

Selected (Recent) Publications

Segal, D. C., J. E. Moran, A. Visser, M. J. Singleton, and B. K. Esser (2014), Seasonal Variation of High Elevation Groundwater Recharge as Indicator of Climate Response. Journal of Hydrology 519: 3129-3141. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.10.051

Visser, A., E. Fourré, F. Barbecot, L. Aquilina, T. Labasque, V. Vergnaud and B. K. Esser (2014) Intercomparison of tritium and noble gases analyses, apparent 3H/3He ages and other derived parameters. Applied Geochemistry 50: 130-141. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2014.03.005

Massoudieh, A., A. Visser, S. Sharifi, H.P. Broers (2014) A Bayesian modeling approach for estimation of a shape-free groundwater age distribution using multiple tracers. Applied Geochemistry 50: 262-264. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.10.004

Benson, A., M. Zane, T. Becker, A. Visser, S. Uriostegui, E. DeRubeis, J. Moran, B. Esser and J. Clark (2014) Quantifying Reaeration Rates in Alpine Streams Using Deliberate Gas Tracer Experiments. Water 6(4): 1013-1027. doi: 10.3390/w6041013

Visser, A., M.J. Singleton, D.J. Hillegonds, C.A. Velsko, J.E. Moran, and B.K. Esser (2013) A Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer for Noble Gases at Natural Abundances in Gas and Water Samples. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27, 2472–2482, doi: 10.1002/rcm.6704

Visser, A., H.P. Broers, R. Purtschert, J. Sültenfuß, M. de Jonge (2013) Groundwater age distributions at a public drinking water supply well field derived from multiple age tracers (85Kr, 3H/3He, noble gases and 39Ar) Water Resources Research, 49, 7778–7796, doi: 10.1002/2013WR014012.

Last update: