Natasha Dimova

Natasha T. Dimova

Associate Professor


  • PhD, Chemical Oceanography, Florida State University
  • MS, Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Research Areas

  • Environmental Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Hydrochemistry
  • Hydrogeology, Hydrology, and Hydrometeorology


Research Interests

I am a marine and environmental geochemist who does cross-disciplinary research between coastal oceanography, hydrogeology, and environmental radiochemistry. I combine both geochemical and geophysical tools to answer scientific questions related to my research interests in areas under contrasting morphologic and climatic regimes. Some of my previous experience includes studies of groundwater-surface water interactions in fresh and marine environments in karstic (Florida) and sandy aquifers (San Francisco Bay, California), volcanic areas (Big Island and Oahu, Hawaii),and arctic regions with various permafrost coverage in Alaska.

Specific areas of my research are

  1. Applications of naturally occurring radioisotopes from the uranium and thorium isotope series as tracers for studying hydrological processes in marine and freshwater systems;
  2. Utilizing electrical resistivity methods for a better understanding of subsurface processes in coastal areas related to the transport of constituents (nutrients and contaminants) into the ocean and the process of saltwater intrusion;
  3. Studying occurrence of natural and artificial radioactivity from radioprotection point of view. Past research projects include the monitoring of natural radioactive contaminations in drinking water, soil, and other natural materials.

An important part of my research has been developing new methods and applications using naturally occurring and man-made radioisotopes. I plan to continue pursuing the radioisotope research and expand the list of radionuclides for new hydrological and geological applications.

Current Research Projects

“Researchers attempt to understand how Mobile Bay deals with excess nutrients”

Research Group

Coastal Hydrogeology and Hydrology

Research Group Members

Current Graduate Students (3)

  • Alexander Lamore (MS started Fall 2018)
  • Jackson Stewart (MS started Fall 2018)
  • Mark Henry (MS started Fall 2018)

Former Graduate Students (3)

  • John Ellis (MS, graduated 2013; selected for outstanding MS thesis in 2014 by the Department of Geological Sciences, UA) – Groundwater contribution to coastal nutrient loading along the Gulf Shores of Alabama: groundwater modeling constrained by radon-222 tracer data. (currently Hydrogeologist at the USGS Water Center, Oklahoma)
  • Nathan Coburn (MS, graduated 2015) – Calibrating a salt-water intrusion hydrological model using geophysical methods along the Alabama Gulf Coast (currently at the US ACE Mobile, AL)
  • Daniel Montiel,Ph.D. (PhD, graduated fall 2018) – Comparing the magnitude and mechanisms of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and associated nutrient fluxes in estuaries and coastal karst systems: the examples of Mobile Bay (USA) and Maro-Cerro gordo (Spain); hydrogeologist at Geosytec Consultants (

Undergraduate Students with Active Research

  • Alexandra Church (Marine Science/Geology at UA) – Biogeochemical transformations of nitrogen speciations in organic-rich sediments from Mobile Bay, AL.

Field and Laboratory Equipment in our Lab

  • Duo-chamber Alpha Spectrometer (PIPS)
  • High-resolution Gamma Spectrometer (HPGe)
  • Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC)
  • Portable radon monitors (RAD7)
  • Radium Delayed Coincidence Counters (RaDeCC)
  • 56-electrode SuperSting electrical resistivity meter

Research Group News


Selected Publications


  • *Montiel D., *A.  Lamore, *J. Stewart, W. J. Lambert, J. Honeck, Y. Lu, O. W, D. Adyasari, N. Moosdorf, and N. Dimova. Natural groundwater nutrient fluxes exceed anthropogenic inputs in an ecologically impacted estuary: lessons learned from Mobile Bay, Alabama, Biogeochemistry (in press).
  • C.-.Chien, B.Allen, N.T.Dimova, et al. (2019). Evaluation of atmospheric dry deposition as a source of nutrients and trace metals to Lake Tahoe,Chemical Geology,


  • *Montiel D., *A.  Lamore, *J. Stewart, and N. Dimova. Is submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) important for the historical fish kills and harmful algal bloom events of Mobile Bay?, Estuaries and Coasts (2018).
  • *Montiel, D; N. Dimova; B. Andreo; J. Prieto; J. Garcia-Orellana; and V. Rodellas. Assessing submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and nitrate fluxes in highly heterogeneous coastal karst aquifers: challenges and solutions (2018), Journal of Hydrology, doi:


  • Rhodes, K. A.; Proffitt, T.; Rowley, T.; Knappett, P. S. K.; *Montiel, D.; Dimova, N.; Tebo, D.; G. R. Miller. The importance of bank storage in supplying baseflow to rivers flowing through compartmentalized, alluvial aquifers (2017). Water Resources Research, 2017. DOI: 10.1002/2017/WR021619
  • Wilson, R.M., L. Fitzhugh, G. Whiting, S. Frolking, M.D. Harrison, N. Dimova, W.C. Burnett and J.P. Chanton (2017). Greenhouse gas balance over thaw-freeze cycles in discontinuous zone permafrost, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeoscience, 122, doi: 10.1002/2016JG003600.


  • Dimova, N., P.W. Swarzenski, J.A. Izbicki, D. O’Leary and P.M. Ganguli (2016). Hydrogeologic controls on chemical transport at Malibu Lagoon, CA: implications for land to sea exchange in coastal lagoon systems, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, (in press)
  • Kodovska Garcia-Tigreros, F., K. J. Sparrow, S. A. Yvon-Lewis, A. Paytan, N. T. Dimova, A. Lecher, J. D. Kessler (2016). Dissolved Methane and Carbon Dioxide Fluxes in Subarctic and Arctic Regions: Assessing Measurement Techniques and Spatial Gradients, Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL), 436: 43-55.
  • Swarzenski, P.W. H. Dulaiova, K.D. Kroeger, C.G. Smith, N. Dimova, C.D. Storlazzi, N.G. Prouty, S.B. Gingerich, and C.R. Glenn (2016). Observations of offshore groundwater flow: Kahekili Beach Park submarine springs, Maui, Hawaii, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, (in press)


  • Xu, B., T. Bianchi, M. Allison; N. Dimova; H. W.; L. Zhang; S. Diao; X. Jiang; Yu Zhen; P. Yao; H. Chen; Q. Y; W. Dong; J. Sui; Z. Yu (2015). Using multi-radiotracer techniques to better understand sedimentary dynamics of reworked muds in the Changjiang River Estuary and inner shelf of East China Sea, Marine Geology, 370: 76-86.
  • Dimova, N., Paytan, A., Kessler, J. D., Sparrow, K. J., Kodovska, F. G-T., Lecher, A., L., Murry, J., and Tulaczyk, S. (2015). Current magnitude and mechanisms of groundwater discharge in the Arctic: a case study from Alaska, Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02215.
  • Lecher, A., L., Kessler, J. D., Sparrow, K. J., Kodovska, F. G-T., Dimova, N., Murry, J., Tulaczyk, S., and Paytan, A. (2015). Methane transport through submarine groundwater discharge to the North Pacific and Arctic Ocean at two Alaskan sites, Limnology and Oceanography,
  • Paytan, A., Lecher, A., L., Dimova, N., Sparrow, K. J., Kodovska, F. G-T., Murry, J., Tulaczyk, S., and Kessler, J. D. (2015). Methane transport from the active layer to lakes in the Arctic using Toolik Lake, Alaska as a case study., Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, doi/10.1073/pnas.1417392112.


  • Xu, Bo-Chao, W. C. Burnett, N. T. Dimova, H. Wang, L. Zhang, M. Gao, X. Jiang, Z. Yu (2014), Natural 222Rn and 220Rn Indicate the Impact of the Water-Sediment Regulation Scheme (WSRS) on Submarine Groundwater Discharge in the Yellow River Estuary, China, Applied Geochemistry, doi:


  • Xu, Bo-Chao, W. C. Burnett, N.  T. Dimova, G. Liu, T. Mi, Z. Yu (2013), Hydrodynamics in the Yellow River Estuary via radium isotopes: ecological perspectives, Continental Shelf Research,
  • Xu, Bo-Chao, N. T. Dimova, L. Zhao, X-Y. Jiang, and Z.-G. Yu (2013), Determination of water ages and flushing rates using short-lived radium isotopes in large estuarine system, the Yangtze River Estuary, China, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 121-122, 61–68.
  • Dimova, N.T., W.C. Burnett, J.P. Chanton, and J.E. Corbett (2013),  Application of radon-222 to investigate groundwater discharge into small shallow lakes, Journal of Hydrology, 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.01.043


  • Null, Kimberly A., N.T. Dimova, K.L. Knee, B.K. Esser, P.W. Swarzenski, M.J. Singleton, and A. Paytan (2012), Submarine groundwater discharge-derived nutrient loads to San Francisco Bay: implications to future ecosystem changes, Estuaries and Coasts, doi 10.1007/s12237-012-9526-7.
  • Burnett, W. C., and N. Dimova (2012), A radon-based mass balance model for assessing groundwater inflows to lakes, Chapter 6 in The Dilemma of Boundaries: Toward a New Concept of Catchment, Global Environmental Studies, M. Taniguchi and T. Shiraiwa (eds.), pp. 55-66, Springer Japan, DOI 10.1007/978-4-431-54035-9_6.
  • Swarzenski, P.W., C.D. Storlazzi, M.K. Presto, A. E. Gibbs, C.G. Smith, N.T. Dimova, M.L. Dailer, and J.B. Logan, (2012), Nearshore morphology, benthic structure, hydrodynamics, and coastal groundwater discharge near Kahekili Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1166, 34 p.
  • Dimova, N.T., P.W. Swarzenski, and H. Dulaiova (2012), Utilizing multichannel electrical resistivity methods to examine the dynamics of the fresh water-seawater interface in two Hawaiian groundwater systems, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, doi:10.1029/2011JC007509


  • Smith, C.G., P.W. Swarzenski, N.T. Dimova, J. Zhang, (2011), Natural radium and radon tracers to quantify water exchange and movement in reservoirs, in Handbook of Environmental Isotope GeochemistrySeries: Advances in Geochemistry, vol.1, edited by Mark Baskaran, pp. 345-365, Springer, doi 10.1007/978-3-642-10637-8.
  • Dimova, N.T., W.C. Burnett, K. Speer (2011), A natural tracer investigation of the hydrological regime of Spring Creek Springs, the largest submarine spring system in Florida. Continental Shelf Research,31, 731-738.
  • Dimova, N.T. and W.C. Burnett (2011), Evaluation of groundwater discharge into small lakes based on the temporal distribution of radon-222, Limnology and Oceanography, 56 (2), 486–494.


  • Mwashote B., W.C Burnett, J. Chanton, I.R Santos, N. Dimova, and P.W. Swarzenski (2010), Calibration and use of continuous heat-type automated seepage meters for submarine groundwater discharge measurements, Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science, 87, 1-10.
  • Dimova, N., W.C.Burnett, and D. Lane-Smith (2009), Improvements in the automated analyses of radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) in water, Environmental Science and Technology, 43 (22), 8599-8603.


  • Peterson, R., W.C.Burnett, N. Dimova, and I.R. Santos (2009), A comparison of measurement methods for radium-226 on manganese fiber. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 7, 196-205.
  •  Santos, I.R., N. Dimova, W.C.Burnett, J. Chanton, B. Mwashote, and R. Peterson (2009), An extended time series for the groundwater tracers 222Rn and CH4 at a coastal site in the Gulf of Mexico, Marine Chemistry, 113, 137-147.
  • Santos, I.R., W.C.Burnett; J. Chanton, N. Dimova, and R. Peterson (2009), Land or ocean? Assessing the driving forces of submarine groundwater discharge, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, C04012, doi: 10.1029/2008JC005038.


  • DimovaN., H. Dulaiova, G. Kim, and W.C. Burnett (2008),Uncertainties in the preparation of 224Ra Mn fiber standards. Marine Chemistry, 109 (3), 220-225.
  • Burnett,W.C., N. Dimova, H. Dulaiova, D. Lane-Smith, B. Parsa, and Z. Szabo (2007), Measuring thoron (220Rn) in natural waters, in “Environmental Radiochemical Analysis III”, edited by P. Warwick, pp. 24-37, Royal Society of Chemistry, RSC Publishing, Cambridge.
  • Dimova, N., W.C. Burnett, E.P. Horwitz, and D.L. Smith (2007), Automated measurement of 224Ra and226Ra in water, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 65, 428–434.
  • Swarzenski, P. W., W.C. Burnett, W.J. Greenwood, B. Herut, R. Peterson, N. Dimova, Y. Shalem, Y.Yechieli, Y.Weinstein (2006), Combined time-series resistivity and geochemical tracer techniques to examine submarine groundwater discharge at Dor Beach, Israel, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L24405, doi:10.1029/2006GL028282.
  • Dimova N., B. Veleva, L. Kinova (2005), Radium isotope determination in rock samples using alpha spectrometry. University of Mining and Geology “St. Ivan Rilski” Annual reports.
  • Dimova N., L. Kinova, B. Veleva, B. Slavchev (2003), Radiochemical procedures for determination of naturally occurring uranium isotopes in environmental samples. 50 years University of Mining and Geology “St. Ivan Rilski”, Annual reports, vol. 46, part І, Geology and Geophysics, Sofia: 241-246.
  • Kinova, L., P. Nikolov, T. Peneva, A. Nikoforova, N. Dimova, B. Slavchev, and P. Petrova (2002), Investigation on TNORM uranium contaminated soils. International Science Conference in honor of prof. Dimitar Yaranov, Conference Proceedings, 2: 336-345. (in Bulgarian)
  • Nikolov, P., T.Grigorov, A. Nikoforova, L. Kinova, T. Peneva, N. Dimova, B. Salvchev, I. Vartolomeev, R. Valchev, and I. Iliev (2002), Critical assessment of the sampling points in the monitoring of gas-aerosol fall outs of the WWER 440 at NPP Kozloduy, Bulgaria, Nuclear Energy Symposium, Conference Proceedings, vol. 1, 344-350. (in Bulgarian)