Avner Vengosh

Avner Vengosh

Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

External address: 
308 Research Drive, A-207 LSRC, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708-0230
(919) 681-8050

My research aims to link environmental geochemistry and isotope hydrology in order to trace the sources and mechanisms of water contamination and relationships with human health. Current research includes global changes of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water resources due to human intervention and contamination, salinization of water resources in the Middle East and Northern Africa, naturally occurring contaminants (arsenic, fluoride, boron) and radioactivity in water resources, the impact of coal combustion residues on the environment, and the impact of gas drilling and hydro-fracking on the quality of shallow groundwater.


  • Ph.D., Australian National University (Australia) 1990
  • M.S., Hebrew University 1986
  • B.S., Hebrew University 1984

Coyte, R. M., and A. Vengosh. “Response to Comments on "large-Scale Uranium Contamination of Groundwater Resources in India".” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 5, no. 9 (September 11, 2018): 593–94. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00407. Full Text

Kondash, Andrew J., Nancy E. Lauer, and Avner Vengosh. “The intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing..” Science Advances 4, no. 8 (August 15, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aar5982. Full Text

Schwartz, Grace E., James C. Hower, Allison L. Phillips, Nelson Rivera, Avner Vengosh, and Heileen Hsu-Kim. “Ranking Coal Ash Materials for Their Potential to Leach Arsenic and Selenium: Relative Importance of Ash Chemistry and Site Biogeochemistry..” Environmental Engineering Science 35, no. 7 (July 2018): 728–38. https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2017.0347. Full Text

Zou, Caineng, Yunyan Ni, Jian Li, Andrew Kondash, Rachel Coyte, Nancy Lauer, Huiying Cui, Fengrong Liao, and Avner Vengosh. “The water footprint of hydraulic fracturing in Sichuan Basin, China..” The Science of the Total Environment 630 (July 2018): 349–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.219. Full Text

Coyte, R. M., R. C. Jain, S. K. Srivastava, K. C. Sharma, A. Khalil, L. Ma, and A. Vengosh. “Large-Scale Uranium Contamination of Groundwater Resources in India.” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 5, no. 6 (June 12, 2018): 341–47. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00215. Full Text

Vinson, D. S., J. R. Lundy, G. S. Dwyer, and A. Vengosh. “Radium isotope response to aquifer storage and recovery in a sandstone aquifer.” Applied Geochemistry 91 (April 1, 2018): 54–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2018.01.006. Full Text

Schlesinger, William H., Emily M. Klein, and Avner Vengosh. “Reply to Selin: Human impacts on the atmospheric burden of trace metals..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 12 (March 6, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1800958115. Full Text

Harkness, J. S., N. R. Warner, A. Ulrich, R. Millot, W. Kloppmann, J. M. E. Ahad, M. M. Savard, P. Gammon, and A. Vengosh. “Characterization of the boron, lithium, and strontium isotopic variations of oil sands process-affected water in Alberta, Canada.” Applied Geochemistry 90 (March 1, 2018): 50–62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.12.026. Full Text

Harkness, Jennifer S., Kelley Swana, William K. Eymold, Jodie Miller, Ricky Murray, Siep Talma, Colin J. Whyte, et al. “Pre-drill Groundwater Geochemistry in the Karoo Basin, South Africa..” Ground Water 56, no. 2 (March 2018): 187–203. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12635. Full Text

Kreuzer, Rebecca L., Thomas H. Darrah, Benjamin S. Grove, Myles T. Moore, Nathaniel R. Warner, William K. Eymold, Colin J. Whyte, et al. “Structural and Hydrogeological Controls on Hydrocarbon and Brine Migration into Drinking Water Aquifers in Southern New York..” Ground Water 56, no. 2 (March 2018): 225–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12638. Full Text


Harkness, Jennifer S., Laura S. Ruhl, Romain Millot, Wolfram Kloppman, James C. Hower, Helen Hsu-Kim, and Avner Vengosh. “Lithium Isotope Fingerprints in Coal and Coal Combustion Residuals from the United States.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:134–37. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.032. Full Text

Tarhouni, J., MF Ben Hamouda, A. J. Kondash, L. Mejri, and A. Vengosh. “Modeling the Recharge and the Renewal Rate Based on 3H and 14C Isotopes in the Coastal Aquifer of El Haouaria, Northern Tunisia.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:199–202. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.047. Full Text

Miller, J., K. Swana, S. Talma, A. Vengosh, G. Tredoux, R. Murray, and M. Butler. “O, H, CDIC, Sr, B and 14C Isotope Fingerprinting of Deep Groundwaters in the Karoo Basin, South Africa as a Precursor to Shale Gas Exploration.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:211–14. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.050. Full Text

Eilers, A., J. Miller, K. Swana, R. Botha, S. Talma, R. Newman, R. Murray, and A. Vengosh. “Characterisation of Radon Concentrations in Karoo Groundwater, South Africa, as a Prelude to Potential Shale-gas Development.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13:269–72. Elsevier BV, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.063. Full Text

Schwartz, Grace E., Heileen Hsu-Kim, and Avner Vengosh. “Trace element toxins in coal ash: New considerations for identifying environmental risks.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 248. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2014.

Parker, Kimberly M., Teng Zeng, Avner Vengosh, and William A. Mitch. “Increased formation of brominated disinfection by-products in shale gas wastewater-impacted surface drinking water supplies.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 248. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2014.

O’Connor, Megan P., Desiree L. Plata, Nathaniel R. Warner, Avner Vengosh, Marc A. Deshusses, Kathrin Schreglmann, and Martin Elsner. “Identifying needs for novel water treatment technologies for flowback water from natural gas extraction.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 247. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2014.

Jackson, R. B., A. Vengosh, T. H. Darrah, N. R. Warner, and A. Down. “Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Environmental Health: An Overview..” In Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 54:S13–S13. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013.

Ruhl, Laura S., Avner Vengosh, Gary S. Dwyer, Heileen Hsu-Kim, and Grace E. Schwartz. “Impact of coal combustion residues on water quality.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 245. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2013.

Vengosh, Avner, Nathaniel Warner, Rob Jackson, and Tom Darrah. “The Effects of Shale Gas Exploration and Hydraulic Fracturing on the Quality of Water Resources in the United States.” In Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 7:863–66. Elsevier BV, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2013.03.213. Full Text


Selected Grants

Tracing Groundwater Contamination Near Coal Ash Ponds in North Carolina awarded by North Carolina State University (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2018

Fluoride and human health: Assessing novel biomarkers in detecting bone disorder awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2017

SusChEM: Geochmical Characterization and Evaluation of the Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017

Collaborative Research: Characterization of Contaminants and Isotopic Tracers Associated with Coal Combustion Products awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2016

Southern Environmental Law Center NC-TN awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Chemical Characterization of Oil and Gas Spill Water in North Dakota awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015