In This Section

Richard Peterson

Assistant Professor, Coastal and Marine Systems Science

Jonathan Doe
Contact Richard Peterson

BCMW 113

Office Hours: By appointment
Research Interests:

Examining groundwater-surface water interactions
Applying natural radiotracers to a multitude of environmental processes including particle transport and atmospheric deposition
Natural porewater and hydrocarbon seepage

Courses Taught:

MSCI416/516 Hydrogeology
CMSS642 Applications in Isotope Geochemistry
CMSS787 Linking Biology and Geomorphology in Coastal Wetlands (and Other Habitats)
CMWS699 Graduate Seminar III
CMSS 617 - Effective Scientific Communications: Preparing for Life as a Scientist
CMSS 787: Sea Level Rise and Saline Intrusion into Coastal Habitats

Recent Publications:


Weber, S.C., J.J. Battles, L. Peterson, B.J. Roberts, R.N. Peterson, D.J. Hollander, J.P Chanton, S.B. Joye, and J.P. Montoya, 2016. Hercules 265 Rapid Response: Immediate Ecosystem Impacts of a Natural Gas Blowout Incident. In press with Deep Sea Research I.

Peterson, L.E., Peterson, R.N., Smith, E., Defore, A., and Libes, S.M., 2016. Constructing water budgets for a coastal stormwater catchment to examine temporal dynamics between urban groundwater and surface runoff. In press with Elsevier textbook entitled Emerging Issues in Groundwater.

Peterson, R.N., W.S. Moore, S. Chappel, R.F. Viso, Libes, S.M., and L.E. Peterson, 2016. New perspectives on coastal hypoxia: Natural drivers among a highly developed shoreline. Marine Chemistry, 179(1), 1-11.


Su, N., W.C. Burnett, H.L. MacIntyre, J.D. Liefer, R.N. Peterson, and R. Viso, 2014. Natural radon and radium isotopes for assessing groundwater discharge into Little Lagoon, Alabama: Implications for harmful algal blooms. Estuaries and Coasts, 37(4), 893-910.

Hutchins, P., Smith, E.K., Koepfler, E., Viso, R.F., and Peterson, R.N., 2014. Metabolic responses of estuarine microbial communities to discharge of surface runoff and groundwater from contrasting landscapes. Estuaries and Coasts, 37 (3): 736-750.


Peterson, R.N., J.C. Breier, L.R. Harmon, J. Brusa, and P.R. Hutchins, 2013. Development of a sparging chamber for field radon analysis. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 298 (2), 1347-1357.

Peterson, R.N., R.F. Viso, I.R. MacDonald, and S.B. Joye, 2013. On the utility of radium isotopes as tracers of hydrocarbon discharge. Marine Chemistry, 156 (1), 98-107.

Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, S.P. Opsahl, I.R. Santos, S. Misra, and P.N. Froelich, 2013. Tracking suspended particle transport via radium isotopes (226Ra and 228Ra) through the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River system. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 116, 65-75.

Burnett, W.C., R.N. Peterson, S. Chanyotha, G. Wattayakorn, and B. Ryan, 2013. Using high-resolution in-situ radon measurements to determine groundwater discharge at a remote location: Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 296(1), 97-103.


El-Gamal, A.A., R.N. Peterson, and W.C. Burnett, 2012. Detecting seasonal freshwater and nutrient loadings via groundwater inputs to Marina Lagoon, Egypt. Estuaries and Coasts, 35 (6), 1486-1499.

Sanger, D. M., E. M. Smith, G. Voulgaris, E. T. Koepfler, S. M. Libes, G. H. M. Riekerk, D. C. Bergquist, D. I. Greenfield, P. Ansley Wren, C. A. McCoy, R. F. Viso, R. N. Peterson, and J. D. Whitaker, 2012. Constrained enrichment contributes to hypoxia formation in Long Bay, South Carolina, an open water urbanized coastline. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 461, 15-30.

Povinec, P.P., W.C. Burnett, A. Beck, H. Bokuniewicz, M. Charette, M.E. Gonneea, M. Groening, T. Ishitobi, E. Kontar, L. Liong Wee Kwong D.E.P. Marie, W.S. Moore, J.A. Oberdorfer, R. Peterson, R. Ramessur, J. Rapaglia, T. Stieglitz, and Z. Top, 2012. Isotopic, geophysical and biogeochemical investigation of submarine groundwater discharge: IAEA-UNESCO intercomparison exercise at Mauritius Island. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 104 (1), 24-45.


Santos, I.R., W.C. Burnett, S. Misra, I.G.N.A. Suryaputra, J. Chanton, T. Dittmar, R.N. Peterson, and P.W. Swarzenski, 2011. Uranium and barium cycling in a salt wedge subterranean estuary: The influence of tidal pumping. Chemical Geology, 287 (1-2), 114-123.

McCoy, C.A., R.F. Viso, R.N. Peterson, S. Libes, B. Lewis, J.G. Ledoux, G. Voulgaris, E. Smith, and D. Sanger, 2011. Radon as an indicator of limited cross-shelf mixing and submarine groundwater discharge in a coastal embayment along the South Atlantic Bight. Continental Shelf Research, 31 (12), 1306-1317.

Santos, I.R., C. Lechuga-Deveze, R.N. Peterson, and W.C. Burnett, 2011. Tracing submarine hydrothermal inputs into a coastal bay in Baja California, Mexico. Chemical Geology, 282 (1-2), 1-10.


Santos, I.R., R.N. Peterson, and W.C. Burnett, 2010. Significant lateral inputs of fresh groundwater into a stratified tropical estuary: Evidence from radon and radium isotopes. Marine Chemistry, 121 (1), 37-48.

Burnett, W.C., R.N. Peterson, I.R. Santos, and R.W. Hicks, 2010. Use of automated radon measurements for rapid assessment of groundwater flow into Florida streams. Journal of Hydrology, 380 (3-4), 298-304.

Peterson, R.N., I.R. Santos, and W.C. Burnett, 2010. Evaluating groundwater discharge to tidal rivers based on a Rn-222 time-series approach. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 86 (2), 165-178.


Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, C.R. Glenn, and A.G. Johnson, 2009. Quantification of point-source groundwater discharges to the ocean from the shoreline of the Big Island, Hawaii. Limnology and Oceanography, 54 (3), 890-904.

Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, N. Dimova, and I.R. Santos, 2009. Comparing measurement methods for radium-226 on manganese-fiber. Limnology & Oceanography: Methods, 7 (2), 196-205.

Santos, I.R., N. Dimova, R.N. Peterson, B. Mwashote, J. Chanton, and W.C. Burnett, 2009. Extended time series measurements of submarine groundwater discharge tracers (222Rn and CH4) at a coastal site in Florida. Marine Chemistry, 113 (1-2), 137-147.

Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, I.R. Santos, M. Taniguchi, T. Ishitobi, and J. Chen, 2009. Bohai Sea coastal transport rates and their influence on coastline nutrient inputs. In, Taniguchi, M., W.C. Burnett, Y. Fukushima, M. Haigh, and Y. Umezawa (eds.) From Headwaters to the Ocean, Taylor & Francis, London, 659-664.

W.C. Burnett, R. Peterson, M. Taniguchi, G. Wattayakorn, S. Chanyotha, and F. Siringan, 2009. Importance of groundwater discharge in developing urban centers of Southeast Asia. In, Taniguchi, M., W.C. Burnett, Y. Fukushima, M. Haigh, and Y. Umezawa (eds.) From Headwaters to the Ocean, Taylor & Francis, London, 289-294.

Santos, I.R., W.C. Burnett, J. Chanton, N. Dimova, and R.N. Peterson, 2009. Land or ocean? Assessing the driving forces of submarine groundwater discharge. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, C04012. 


Waska, H., S. Kim, G. Kim, R. Peterson, and W.C. Burnett, 2008. An efficient and simple method for measuring 226Ra, together with 223Ra and 224Ra, using a delayed coincidence counter (RaDeCC). Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 99 (12), 1859-1862.

Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, M. Taniguchi, J. Chen, I.R. Santos, and S. Misra, 2008. Determination of transport rates in the Yellow River – Bohai Sea mixing zone via natural geochemical tracers. Continental Shelf Research, 28 (19), 2700-2707.

Povinec, P.P., H. Bokuniewicz, W.C. Burnett, J. Cable, M. Charette, J.-F. Comanducci, E.A. Kontar, W.S. Moore, J.A. Oberdorfer, J. de Oliveira, R. Peterson, T. Stieglitz, and M. Taniguchi, 2008. Isotope tracing of submarine groundwater discharge offshore Ubatuba, Brazil: Results of the IAEA-UNESCO SGD project. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 99, 1596-1610, doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2008.06.010.

Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, M. Taniguchi, J. Chen, I.R. Santos, and T. Ishitobi, 2008. Radon and radium isotope assessment of submarine groundwater discharge in the Yellow River delta, China. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, C09021, doi:10.1029/2008JC004776

Johnson, A.G., C.R. Glenn, W.C. Burnett, R.N. Peterson, and P.G. Lucey, 2008. Aerial infrared mapping of nutrient-rich groundwater plumes in Hawaiian coastal waters. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L15606, doi: 10.1029/2008GL034574.Taniguchi, M., T. Ishitobi, J. Chen, S. Onodera, K. Miyaoka, W.C. Burnett, R. Peterson, G. Liu, and Y. Fukushima, 2008. Submarine groundwater discharge from the Yellow River Delta to the Bohai Sea, China. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, C06025, doi:10.1029/2007JC004498.

Santos, I.R., L.F. Niencheski, W. Burnett, R. Peterson, J. Chanton, C.F.F. Andrade, I.B. Milani, A. Schmidt, and K. Knoeller, 2008. Tracing anthropogenically-driven groundwater discharge into a coastal lagoon from southern Brazil. Journal of Hydrology, 353 (3-4), 275-293.

Santos, I.R., M.I. Machado, L.F. Niencheski, W. Burnett, I.B. Milani, C.F.F. Andrade, R. Peterson, J. Chanton, and P. Baisch, 2008. Major ion chemistry in a freshwater coastal lagoon from Southern Brazil (Mangueira Lagoon): Influence of groundwater inputs. Aquatic Geochemistry, 14, 133-146, DOI: 110.1007/s10498-10008-19029-10490.

Burnett, W.C., R. Peterson, W.S. Moore, and J. de Oliveira, 2008. Radon and Radium Isotopes as Tracers of Submarine Groundwater Discharge - Results from the Ubatuba, Brazil SGD Assessment Intercomparison. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Special Issue 76, 501-511.


Peterson, R.N., W.C. Burnett, C.R. Glenn, and A.J. Johnson, 2007. A box model to quantify groundwater discharge along the Kona coast of Hawaii using natural tracers. In: Sanford, W., C. Langevin, M. Polemio, and P. Povinec (eds.), A New Focus on Groundwater-Seawater Interactions. IAHS Publication 312, Oxfordshire, UK., 142-149.


Burnett, W.C., H. Dulaiova, C. Stringer, and R. Peterson, 2006. Submarine groundwater discharge: its measurement and influence on the coastal zone. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 39, p. 35-38.

Swarzenski, P.W., W.C. Burnett, W.J. Greenwood, B. Herut, R. Peterson, N. Dimova, Y. Shalem, Y. Yechieli, and 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.


Dulaiova, H., R. Peterson, W.C. Burnett, and D. Lane-Smith, 2005. A multi-detector continuous monitor for assessment of 222Rn in the coastal ocean. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 263 (2), 361-365.