Natasha Dimova

Assistant Professor

  • (205) 348-0256
  • 2034 Bevill


MS, Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Ph.D., Chemical Oceanography, Florida State University

Courses Taught

GEO 103 Introduction to Oceanography (for non-majors)
GEO 101 The Dynamic Earth
GEO 525 Tracers in Hydrogeology
GEO 525 Isotopic Tracers


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.

Research Group

Coastal Hydrology

Research Group Members

William Daniel Ketcheside, Ph.D. student

Daniel Montiel Marti, Ph.D. student

Alex Lamore, undergraduate student

Mark Henry, undergraduate student

Adam Forkner, undergraduate student

John Ellis (MS, graduated 2013, currently at USGS Oklahoma)

Nathan Coburn (MS, graduated Fall 2014, currently at US ACE Mobile, AL), Ph.D. student since Fall 2015

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


Our group in the news:

Representative Publications


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 – Biogeosciences (in press)



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.

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)