Ate Visser

Research Scientist, Isotope Hydrologist
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Phone: +19254230956


  • Ph.D., Physical Geography, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 2009
  • M.S., Physical Geography, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2004

Research Interests

Ate Visser is a research scientist with expertise in isotope hydrology. He worked for a year at the Netherlands Geological Survey and the research institute Deltares, he joined LLNL as a postdoc in 2010. He currently works in the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division and manages the environmental Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry laboratory at LLNL.

Visser studies the sustainability of water resources by applying environmental tracers in a variety of hydrological systems to investigate sources, pathways, and travel times of water. He focuses on combining multiple environmental tracers to calculate water travel time distributions. His work involves developing new tracers for hydrological research and applying these tracers to urgent water resource questions.

Awards and Honors

  • Record of Invention: Noble Gas Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer (IL-12385).
  • Associate Editor for Hydrogeology Journal, 2011-2013
  • LLNL Spot Award for winning the Best Poster in the 2012 Lab-wide Postdoc Poster Symposium, 2012
  • Best geosciences publication, awarded by the Netherlands Geological Survey, 2009

Selected Publications

  • Avery, Elizabeth, Bibby, Richard, Visser, Ate, Esser, Bradley, and Moran, Jean. (2018). Quantification of Groundwater Discharge in a Subalpine Stream Using Radon-222. Water 10 (2), 100.
  • Harms, Patrick A., Visser, Ate, Moran, Jean E., and Esser, Brad K. (2016). Distribution of tritium in precipitation and surface water in California. Journal of Hydrology 534, 63–72. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.12.046.
  • Peters, Elizabeth, Visser, Ate, Esser, Bradley, and Moran, Jean. (2018). Tracers Reveal Recharge Elevations, Groundwater Flow Paths and Travel Times on Mount Shasta, California. Water 10 (2), 97.
  • Segal, Daniel C., Moran, Jean E., Visser, Ate, Singleton, Michael J., and Esser, Bradley K. (2014). Seasonal variation of high elevation groundwater recharge as indicator of climate response. Journal of Hydrology 519, Part D (0), 3129–3141. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.10.051.
  • Visser, Ate, Moran, Jean E., Singleton, Michael J., and Esser, Bradley K. (2017). Importance of river water recharge to the San Joaquin Valley groundwater system. Hydrological Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.11468.