Uwe Morgenstern


Full Name: Uwe Morgenstern

Position: Lead Scientist - Tritium Laboratory

Contact details

Email me here
Phone: +64-4-570 4652

Specialist Profile

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


1986: MSc; 1992: PhD

Areas of expertise

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

Professional activities

NZ Hydrological Society: Member
European Geosciences Union: Member

Major publications

Stewart, M.K.; Morgenstern, U. 2016 Importance of tritium-based transit times in hydrological systems. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews : Water, 3(2): 145-154; doi: 10.1002/wat2.1134

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): 3771-3785; doi: 10.5194/hess-19-3771-2015

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): 1213-1222; doi: 10.5194/tc-9-1213-2015

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): 803-822; doi: 10.5194/hess-19-803-2015

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: 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): 14-26; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.11.026

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): 142-152; doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.04.004

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): 2289-2301; doi: 10.5194/hess-14-2289-2010

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): 1646-1659; doi: 10.1002/hyp.7576

Morgenstern, U.; Taylor, C.B. 2009 Ultra low-level tritium measurement using electrolytic enrichment and LSC. Isotopes in environmental and health studies, 45(2): 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: 605-609; doi: 10.1016/S0168-583X(00)00224-X

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