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 (Israel) 1986
  • B.S., Hebrew University (Israel) 1984

Tasker, T. L., W. D. Burgos, M. A. Ajemigbitse, N. E. Lauer, A. V. Gusa, M. Kuatbek, D. May, et al. “Accuracy of methods for reporting inorganic element concentrations and radioactivity in oil and gas wastewaters from the Appalachian Basin, U.S. based on an inter-laboratory comparison.Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts 21, no. 2 (February 2019): 224–41. https://doi.org/10.1039/c8em00359a. Full Text

Plata, Desiree L., Robert B. Jackson, Avner Vengosh, and Paula J. Mouser. “More than a decade of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling research.Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts 21, no. 2 (February 2019): 193–94. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9em90004g. Full Text

Burke, Katie. “First Person: Avner Vengosh.” American Scientist 107, no. 5 (2019): 282–282. https://doi.org/10.1511/2019.107.5.282. Full Text

Brandt, J. E., N. E. Lauer, A. Vengosh, E. S. Bernhardt, and R. T. Di Giulio. “Strontium Isotope Ratios in Fish Otoliths as Biogenic Tracers of Coal Combustion Residual Inputs to Freshwater Ecosystems.” Environmental Science and Technology Letters 5, no. 12 (December 11, 2018): 718–23. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00477. Full Text

Ni, Yunyan, Caineng Zou, Huiying Cui, Jian Li, Nancy E. Lauer, Jennifer S. Harkness, Andrew J. Kondash, et al. “Origin of Flowback and Produced Waters from Sichuan Basin, China.Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 24 (December 2018): 14519–27. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b04345. Full Text

McMahon, P. B., J. T. Kulongoski, A. Vengosh, I. M. Cozzarelli, M. K. Landon, Y. K. Kharaka, J. M. Gillespie, and T. A. Davis. “Regional patterns in the geochemistry of oil-field water, southern San Joaquin Valley, California, USA.” Applied Geochemistry 98 (November 1, 2018): 127–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2018.09.015. Full Text

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): eaar5982. 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


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

Warner, N. R., A. Nunnery, G. S. Dwyer, P. A. Baker, S. C. Fritz, and A. Vengosh. “Boron isotopic ratios from the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivian Altiplano as a paleoenvironmental indicator.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A1114–A1114, 2010.

Deonarine, A., H. Hsu-Kim, L. Ruhl, and A. Vengosh. “Riverine mercury contamination after the 2008 coal ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant, TN.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A223–A223. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Leslie, Deborah, Nathaniel Warner, Avner Vengosh, John Olesik, Kathleen Welch, and W Berry Lyons. “Boron isotopic geochemistry of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A582–A582. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Merola, R. B., and A. Vengosh. “Low-level arsenic contamination of groundwater with biomarker monitoring in Union County, NC.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A700–A700. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Ruhl, Laura S., Avner Vengosh, and Gary S. Dywer. “Isotopic and geochemical tracers for evaluating the environmental impact of the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill in Kingston, TN.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A889–A889. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Vinson, D. S., J. C. Mcintosh, and A. Vengosh. “Sr isotope constraints on natural oxy-anionic contaminants in a basin-fill aquifer (Arizona, USA).” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A1083–A1083. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Bartov, Gideon, Thomas M. Johnson, Laura Ruhl, Avner Vengosh, and George Southworth. “Mercury stable isotope tracing of multiple Mercury sources in the Tennessee River system.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74:A57–A57. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010.

Dieck, Rita, Amer Marie, Avner Vengosh, and Jawad Hasan. “Ra-226/Rn-222 in groundwater of the Mountain Aquifer and Ein-Feshcha Spring: West Bank.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 73:A292–A292. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2009.

Farber, E., A. Vengosh, I. Gavrieli, A. Marie, T. D. Bullen, B. Mayer, R. Holtzman, M. Segal, and U. Shavit. “The relationships between groundwater discharge and the Lower Jordan River.” In Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 69:A813–A813. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2005.


Selected Grants

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

Legacy impacts of coal combustion residues on freshwater ecosystems in North Carolina awarded by Water Resources Research Institute (Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Radioactivity and Isotopic Markers of Oil and Gas Liquid and solid Wastes in New York and Pennsylvania awarded by Park Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

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

Environmental and Health Risks of Oil and Gas Waste Water in New York and Pennsylvania awarded by Park Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015

Chateaubriand Fellowship for Jennifer Harkness awarded by Government of France (Principal Investigator). 2014

The Potential Risks of Freshwater Aquifer Contamination with Geosequestration awarded by Department of Energy (Co-Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2013

Environmental effects of the coal ash spill and remediation at Kingston TN awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2010