Staff profiles

Uwe MorgensternLead Scientist - Tritium Laboratory

Morgenstern Uwe 1862


Environmental Chemistry

Contact me


Present research/professional speciality: Since 1998, Dr Morgenstern has led the Isotope Hydrology team and managed the Water Dating Laboratory at GNS Science. His scientific expertise centres on the use of isotopic methods, such as tritium and 32Si, for determination of the age of water, ice, and sediments. A recent international assessment conducted by the IAEA has shown that, under Dr. Morgensterns management, the GNS Science Water Dating Lab has become the worlds most accurate tritium analytical facility (by a large margin). The information derived from the age measurements is crucial for reconstruction of past global climate and for management of groundwater and surface water resources. Research leadership: New Zealand Ice Core Programme GNS Science Hydrogeology Core Programme


  • PhD
  • MSc

Areas of expertise

  • Groundwater: Groundwater dating
  • Paleoclimate: Cosmogenic isotopes in earth sciences
  • Geochronology: 32Si expert
  • Geochronology: Dating Paleoclimate archieves
  • Paleoclimate: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Groundwater: Groundwater dynamics
  • Groundwater: Landuse impact on groundwater quality

Major Publications

See all publications

  • Stewart, M.K.; Morgenstern, U. 2016. Importance of tritium-based transit times in hydrological systems, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews : Water 3(2): p. 145-154. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1134. p. 145-154
  • Kang, S.; Wang, F.; Morgenstern, U.; Zhang, Y.; Grigholm, B.; Kaspari, S.; Schwikowski, M.; Ren, J.; Yao, T.; Qin, D.; Mayewski, P.A. 2015. Dramatic loss of glacier accumulation area on the Tibetan Plateau revealed by ice core tritium and mercury records, Cryosphere 9(3): p. 1213-1222. DOI: 10.5194/tc-9-1213-2015. p. 1213-1222
  • Morgenstern, U.; Daughney, C.J.; Leonard, G.S.; Gordon, D.; Donath, F.M.; Reeves, R.R. 2015. Using groundwater age and hydrochemistry to understand sources and dynamics of nutrient contamination through the catchment into Lake Rotorua, New Zealand, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19(2): p. 803-822. DOI: 10.5194/hess-19-803-2015. p. 803-822
  • Cartwright, I.; Morgenstern, U. 2015. Transit times from rainfall to baseflow in headwater catchments estimated using tritium : the Ovens River, Australia, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19(9): p. 3771-3785. DOI: 10.5194/hess-19-3771-2015. p. 3771-3785
  • Morgenstern, U.; Daughney, C.J. 2012. Groundwater age for identification of baseline groundwater quality and impacts of land-use intensification : The National Groundwater Monitoring Programme of New Zealand, Journal of Hydrology 456/457: p. 79-93. p. 79-93
  • Povinec, P.P.; Breier, R.; Coppola, L.; Groening, M.; Jeandel, C.; Jull, A.J.T.; Kieser, W.E.; Lee, S.-H.; Liong Wee Kwong, L.; Morgenstern, U.; Park, Y.-H.; Top, Z. 2011. Tracing of water masses using a multi isotope approach in the southern Indian Ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 302(1/2): p. 14-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.11.026. p. 14-26
  • Purdie, H.; Mackintosh, A.; Lawson, W.; Anderson, B.; Morgenstern, U.; Chinn, T.; Mayewski, P. 2011. Interannual variability in net accumulation on Tasman Glacier and its relationship with climate, Global and Planetary Change 77(3/4): p. 142-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.04.004. p. 142-152
  • Stewart, M.K.; Morgenstern, U.; McDonnell, J.J. 2010. Truncation of stream residence time : how the use of stable isotopes has skewed our concept of streamwater age and origin, Hydrological Processes 24(12): p. 1646-1659. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7576. p. 1646-1659
  • Morgenstern, U.; Stewart, M.K.; Stenger, R. 2010. Dating of streamwater using tritium in a post nuclear bomb pulse world : continuous variation of mean transit time with streamflow, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 14(11): p. 2289-2301. DOI: 10.5194/hess-14-2289-2010. p. 2289-2301
  • Morgenstern, U.; Taylor, C.B. 2009. Ultra low-level tritium measurement using electrolytic enrichment and LSC, Isotopes in environmental and health studies 45(2): p. 96-117. p. 96-117
  • Morgenstern, U.; Fifield, L.K.; Zondervan, A. 2000. New frontiers in glacier ice dating : measurement of natural 32Si by AMS, Nuclear instruments & methods in physics research. Section B, Beam interactions with materials and atoms 172: p. 605-609. DOI: 10.1016/S0168-583X(00)00224-X. [s.l.]: [s.n.]. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences contribution 2090 p. 605-609


By continuing with this download you agree to abide by the rules laid out in the Terms and conditions/Terms of use listed on this page.

If there are no specific Terms and conditions/Terms of use listed then please refer to our Copyright and Disclaimer page and Privacy Policy page