Peter Schlosser

Vinton Professor, Earth and Environmental Engineering

Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences


B.S./M.S., Heidelberg, 1981; Ph.D., 1985.
Schlosser's research focuses on water systems, primarily in oceans and groundwater. His work reflects his concern about problems caused by human impact and needs for solutions based on thorough scientific understanding of natural systems. His water movement studies utilize natural and anthropogenic trace substances such as radiocarbon, oxygen-18, radioactive hydrogen and its decay product He-3, as well as measurement of noble gases in groundwater.

His groundwater flow studies concern shallow and deep aquifers, especially as they relate to environmental risk/impact studies. Results permit reconstruction of continental paleotemperatures records and flow studies. Schlosser's ocean research concerns water circulation in the ocean surface, movement into the deep ocean, and circulation patterns within the deep ocean. This work includes linkages to the climate variability and age dating of the water masses.

Current research also is directed toward an exploration of mixing and gas exchange in river and estuary environments, particularly utilizing SF-6 and He-3 studies. Schlosser's publications include "SF-6 and He-3 tracer release experiment: A new method of determining longitudinal dispersion coefficients in large rivers," Environment, Science and Technology (1996, with J. Clark, M. Stute and H.J. Simpson); "Paleotemperatures in the southwestern United States derived from noble gases in ground water," Science (1992, with M. Stute, J. Clark and W.S. Broecker); and "Reduction of deepwater formation in the Greenland Sea during the 1980s: evidence from tracer data," Science (1991, with G. Boenisch, M. Rhein and R. Bayer).

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