Dioni I Cendon profile photo
Dr Dioni Cendón
Senior Visiting Fellow
Field of Research: 
Isotope hydrogeochemistry, water rock interactions, groundwater, evaporites, groundwater residence time
Contact details:
+61 2 9717 3937

ANSTO: Building 21

See also: 


Secretary NSW-division of the Geological Society of Australia

Australian Journal of Earth Sciences (Associate Editor)

Research & Current Projects


  •  Application, development and improvement of isotopic techniques to the study of hydrogeological and geochemical processes.
  • Shallow groundwater hydrochemistry and interaction with surface waters in dry-land rivers
  • Climatic signals preserved in groundwater.
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of inputs and palaeohydrology of hyper saline environments.
  • Use or Rare Earth Elements to understand water rock interactions.


  • Geochemical tracers in aquifers under intense abstractions and development of unconventional gas resources. Work in the Condamine (QLD), Namoi (NSW), Gippsland (VIC)
  •  G@GPS (Groundwater at Global Paleoclimatic Signals) UNESCO/IGCP-618. http://www.gw-gps.com/
  • Use of Rare Earth Elements in groundwater from contaminated sites.
  • Use of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes to trace groundwater and understand its residence time. Work in many sites across the world eg: Bolivia, Canada, China, Mozambique, Spain, etc. In Australia:  Pilbara (WA), Mangrove-Kulnura area (NSW), Westernport Basin (VIC), etc.

 Photo: Dioni I Cendón. Groundwater from the North West Sahara Aquifer under artesian presume comes to the surface and is cooled down to ambient temperature before using the water for irrigation. (Tozeur Region, Tunisia)



 Photo: Sampling saline groundwater discharges in the Athabasca River area (Alberta, Canada)


Photo: Dioni I Cendón. River dams for irrigation have transformed the Walker Lake (Nevada, US) from a fresh water body with abundant fish to a ~19 mg/L TDS that continues to decrease in level. 


Photo Dioni I Cendón. Investigating the Devil's Golf Course, Death Valley National Park



Photo: Dioni I Cendón. Sampling groundwater discharge into the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) 


Photo Dioni I Cendón. Halite polygonal crusts in Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia)



Photo Dioni I Cendón. Unexpected friend during sampling in the Namoi River area (NSW)

Research Students


Mira van der Ley (PhD candidate, UNSW) – Surface-groundwater water-rock interactions in the Riversleigh region.

Charlotte Iverach (PhD candidate, UNSW) – Interaquifer connections in irrigated zones under Coal Seam Gas development.

Mark Peterson (PhD candidate, UNSW-ANSTO): Matrix diffusion of radionuclides in fractured rocks and apparent groundwater age.

Sarah Taylor (PhD Candidate, USyd): A Hydrogeochemical study of shallow saline groundwater in south west Sydney, Australia.


Stephen Lee (MSc, 2015, RMIT): The origin of salinity and aquifer interaction in a seasonally pumped confined aquifer system (Western Port Basin, VIC)

Lucienne Martel (Honours, 2014, UNSW): Multivariate analysis of major-ion compositions in the Condamine alluvium groundwaters (SE-Qld).

Josh Larsen (PhD, UoW-ANSTO awarded Nov 2011): Aspects of the contemporary and palaeo- hydrology of the Lake Eyre Basin, central Australia.

Daniel Denaro (Honours 2011, UNSW): Hawkesbury Sandstone Hosting Aquifers in the Lower Blue Mountains - An Analysis into Migrating Groundwaters and Host-Rock Interactions.

Ellen Luu (Honours 2009, UNSW): Hawkesbury sandstone aquifers of the Sydney Basin – potential water-rock interaction effects on 14C groundwater dating.

Jennifer Spencer (Honours 2009, UNSW): The surface and groundwater of the Lawn Hill Region, Northwest Queensland.

Jesse Puller (Honours 2006, UoW): Ostracod and Charophyte carbonate geochemistry in Southern NSW Estuaries: A proxy for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstructions.

Emma Collins (Honours 2005, UNSW): Tracing sulfate sources in the upper Natai River catchment of southeastern Australia using ionic and isotopic analyses.

David Canon (Honours 2004, UNSW): A preliminary investigation into the use of recycled wastewater for irrigation in the Navigation Ck catchment.

Nicole McKimm (Honours 2004, UoW): Water quality of natural creeks in Acid Sulfate Soil of the Shoalhaven.

Daniel Rickleman (Honours 2004, UoW): Geomorphology as a determinant of near-surface groundwater salinity, Cooper Creek floodplain, Queensland.


1)    Duvert, C., Stewart, M. K., Cendón, D. I., and Raiber, M., 2016, Time-series of tritium, stable isotopes and chloride reveal short-term variations in groundwater contribution to a stream, Hydrological Earth Systems Science, 20, 257-277, doi:10.5194/hessd-20-257-2016.

2)    Lee, S., Currell, M., and Cendón, D. I., 2016, Marine water from mid-Holocene sea level highstand trapped in a coastal aquifer: Evidence from groundwater isotopes, and environmental significance: Science of The Total Environment 544, 995-1007.

3)    Scheiber, L., Ayora, C., Vázquez-Suñé, E., Cendón, D. I., Soler, A., and Baquero, J. C., 2016, Origin of high ammonium, arsenic and boron concentrations in the proximity of a mine: Natural vs. anthropogenic processes. Science of The Total Environment 541, 655-666.

4)    Scheiber, L., Ayora, C., Vázquez-Suñé, E., Cendón, D. I., Soler, A., and Baquero, J. C. (2015). Origen de las altas concentraciones de amonio, arsénico y boro en el acuífero Niebla-Posadas en la proximidad de la actividad minera de Cobre Las Cruces (Gerena-Sevilla). Publicaciones del Instituto Geológico y minero de España. Serie Hidrogeológica y aguas subterráneas Nº 12(2), 1-8.

5)    Iverach C., Cendón D., Hankin S., Lowry D., Fisher R., France J., Nisbet E., Baker A., Bryce K. (2015), Assessing Hydraulic Connectivity Between Unconventional Gas Developments and Adjacent Aquifers Using Methane Isotopes, Dissolved Organic Carbon and Tritium. Scientific Reports, v. 5, p. 15996. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep15996.

6)    Jasechko, S., Lechler, A., Pausata, F. S. R., Fawcett, P. J., Gleeson, T., Cendón, D. I., Galewsky, J., Le Grande, A. N., Risi, C., Sharp, Z. D., Welker, J. M., Werner, M., and Yoshimura, K. (2015). Glacial–interglacial shifts in global and regional precipitation δ18O. Climate of the Past 11, 1375-1393.

7)    Meredith, K. T., Hollins, S. E., Hughes, C. E., Cendón, D. I., Chisari, R., Griffiths, A., and Crawford, J., 2015, Evaporation and concentration gradients created by episodic river recharge in a semi-arid zone aquifer: Insights from Cl−, δ18O, δ2H, and 3H. Journal of Hydrology 529, 1070-1078.

8)    Duvert, C., Raiber, M., Owen, D. D. R., Cendón, D. I., Batiot-Guilhe, C., and Cox, M. E. (2015). Hydrochemical processes in a shallow coal seam gas aquifer and its overlying stream–alluvial system: implications for recharge and inter-aquifer connectivity. Applied Geochemistry 61, 146-159.

9)    Raiber M., Webb J.A., Cendón D.I., White P.A. and Jacobsen G.E. (2015). Environmental isotopes meet 3D geological modelling: conceptualising recharge and structurally-controlled aquifer connectivity in the basalt plains of south-western Victoria, Australia. Journal of Hydrology 527, 262-280.

10) King A.C., Raiber M., Cendón D.I., Cox M. E. and Hollins S. (2015). Identifying flood recharge and inter-aquifer connectivity using multiple isotopes in subtropical Australia. Hydrological Earth Systems Science, 19, 2315–2335. doi:10.5194/hess-19-2315-2015.

11) Scheiber L., Ayora C., Vázquez-Suñé E., Cendón D.I., Soler A., Custodio E., Baquero J.C. (2015). Recent and old groundwater in the Niebla-Posadas regional aquifer (southern Spain): Implications for its management. Journal of Hydrology, 523, 624-635.

12) Duvert C., Cendón D.I., Raiber M., Seidel J-L, Cox M.E. (2015). Seasonal and spatial variations in rare elements to identify inter-aquifer linkages and recharge processes in an Australian catchment. Chemical Geology, 396, 83-97.

13) Cendón D.I., Hughes C.E., Harrison J.J., Hankin S.I., Johansen M.P., Payne T.E., Wong H., Rowling B., Vine M., Wilsher K., Guinea A. and Thiruvoth S. (2015). Hydrogeochemical and isotopic characterisation of a low level radioactive waste site adjacent to landfills. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 62(1),123-141.

14) García-Veigas J., Rosell L., Cendón D.I., Gibert L., Martín J.M., Torres-Ruiz J., Ortí F. (2015). Large celestine orebodies formed by early-diagenetic replacement of gypsified stromatolites (Upper Miocene, Montevive-Escúzar deposit, Granada Basin, Spain). Ore Geology Reviews, 64, 187-199.

15) Unland, N. P., Cartwright, I., Cendón, D. I., and Chisari, R. (2014). Residence times and mixing of water in river banks: implications for recharge and groundwater–surface water exchange. Hydrology and Earth Systems Science, 18, 5109-5124, doi:10.5194/hess-18-5109-2014.

16) Atkinson, A. P., Cartwright, I., Gilfedder, B. S., Cendón, D. I., Unland, N. P., and Hofmann, H. (2014). Using 14C and 3H to understand groundwater flow and recharge in an aquifer window, Hydrology and Earth Systems Science, 18, 4951-4964, doi:10.5194/hess-18-4951-2014.

17) Cendón D.I., Hankin S.I., Williams J.P., van der Ley M., Peterson M., Hughes C.E., Meredith K., Graham I.T., Hollins S.E., Levchenko V. and  Chisari R. (2014). Groundwater residence time in a dissected and weathered sandstone plateau: Kulnura – Mangrove Mountain aquifer, NSW, Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 61(3), 475-499.

18) Ortí F., Pérez-López A., García-Veigas J., Rosell L., Cendón D.I. and Pérez-Valera F. (2014). Sulfate isotope compositions (δ34S, δ18O) and strontium isotopic ratios (87Sr/86Sr) of Triassic evaporites in the Betic cordillera (SE Spain). Revista de la Sociedad Geológica de España, 27(1), 79-89.

19) Atkinson, A. P., Cartwright, I., Gilfedder, B. S., Hofmann, H., Unland, N. P., Cendón, D. I., and Chisari, R., (2013). A multi-tracer approach to quantifying groundwater inflows to an upland river; assessing the influence of variable groundwater chemistry: Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10122.

20) Payne T. E., Harrison J.J., Hughes C.E., Johansen M.P., Thiruvolth S., Wilsher K.L., Cendón D.I., Hankin S.I., Rowling B., Zawadzki A. (2013). Trench “bath-tubbing” and surface plutonium contamination at a legacy radioactive waste site near Sydney, Australia. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(23), 13284-13293.

21) Brennan S.T., Lowenstein T.K., Cendón D.I. (2013). The major-ion composition of Cenozoic seawater: the past 36 million years from fluid inclusions in marine halite. American Journal of Science 313, 713–775.

22) Currell M., Cendón D.I., Chen X. (2013). Analysis of environmental isotopes in groundwater to understand the responses of a vulnerable coastal aquifer to pumping. Hydrogeology Journal 21(7), 1413-1427.

23) Meredith, K., Hollins, S., Hughes, C., Cendón, D. I., Stone, D. (2013). The influence of groundwater/surface water exchange on stable water isotopic signatures along the Darling River, NSW, Australia. In: Ribeiro, L., Stigter, T.Y., Chambel, A., Condesso de Melo, M.T., Monteiro, J.P., Medeiros, A. (Eds.), Groundwater and Ecosystems (IAH - Selected Papers on Hydrogeology) CRC Press/Balkema, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 57-68. (ISBN: 978-1-138-00033-9).

24) Chivas A, García A., Cendón D.I. (2013). Lake Carpentaria In: Geology of Queensland Ed: Jell P.A. Queensland Government, pp. 663-664. (ISBN 9781921489761).

25) García-Veigas J., Cendón D.I., Rosell L., Ortí F.,Torres Ruiz J., Martín J.M., Sanz E. (2013). Salt deposition and brine evolution in the Granada Basin (Late Tortonian, SE Spain). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 369, 452-465.

26) Cartwright, I., Weaver, T. R., Cendón, D. I., Keith Fifield, L., Tweed, S. O., Petrides, B., and Swane, I., (2012). Constraining groundwater flow, residence times, inter-aquifer mixing, and aquifer properties using environmental isotopes in the southeast Murray Basin, Australia. Applied Geochemistry, 27(9), 1698-1709.

27) Hughes, C.E., Stone, D.J.M., Gibson, J.J., Sadek, M.S., Cendón, D.I., Hankin, S.I., Hollins, S.E., Morrison, T.N. (2012). Stable water isotope investigation of the Barwon-Darling River system in Australia. In Monitoring Isotopes in Rivers: Creation of the Global Network of Isotopes in Rivers (GNIR), IAEA-TECDOC-1673, 97-110.

28) Meredith K.T., Cendón D.I., Pigois J-P., Hollins S.E., Jacobsen G. (2012). Using 14C and 3H to delineate a recharge ‘window’ into the Perth Basin aquifers, North Gnangara groundwater system, Western Australia. Science of Total Environment, 414, 456-469.

29) García-Veigas J., Cendón D.I., Pueyo J.J. and Peryt T. (2011). Zechstein saline brines in Poland, evidence of overturned anoxic ocean during the Late Permian mass extinction event. Chemical Geology 290, 189–201.

30) Pogson R.E., Osborne R.A.L., Colchester D.M. and Cendón D.I. (2011). Sulfate and phosphate-sulfate speleothemes at Jenolan Caves, New South Wales. Acta Carsologica 40(2), 239-254.

31) Hughes, C.E., Cendón, D.I., Johansen, M.P., and Meredith, K.T., (2011). Climate Change and Groundwater Sustaining Groundwater Resources, in Jones, J.A.A., ed.: International Year of Planet Earth, Springer Netherlands, p. 97-117.

32) Cendón D.I., Larsen J.R., Jones B.G., Nanson G.C., Rickleman D., Hankin S.I., Pueyo J.J. Maroulis J. (2010). Freshwater recharge into a shallow saline groundwater system, Cooper Creek floodplain, Queensland, Australia. Journal of Hydrology 392, 150-163.

33) Cartwright I., Weaver T., Cendón D.I., Swane I. (2010). Environmental isotopes as indicators of aquitard effectiveness and inter-aquifer mixing, Wimmera Region, Murray Basin, Southeast Australia. Chemical Geology 277, 214-226.

34) Hughes, C.E., Cendón, D.I., Harrison, J.J., Hankin, S.I., Collins, R.N,. Payne, T.E., Vine, M., Johansen, M.P., Hoffmann, E.L., Loosz, T. (2010) Movement of a tritium plume in shallow groundwater at a legacy low level radioactive waste disposal site in eastern Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 102, 943-952.

35) Meredith K. T, Hollins S.E., Hughes C.E., Cendón D.I., Hankin S., Stone D.J.M. (2009). Temporal variation in stable isotopes (18O and 2H) and major ion concentrations within the Darling River between Bourke and Wilcannia due to variable flows, saline groundwater influx and evaporation. Journal of Hydrology 378, 313-324.

36) Ladd B., Bonser S.P, Peri P., Larsen J., Laffan, S.W., Pepper D.A. and Cendón D.I. (2009). Towards a physical description of habitat: quantifying environmental adversity (abiotic stress) in temperate forest and woodland ecosystems, Journal of Ecology, 97, 964–971.

37) Cendón D.I., Ayora C. Pueyo J.J., Taberner C. and Blanc-Valleron M-.M. (2008). The chemical and hydrological evolution of the Mulhouse potash basin (France): Are “marine” ancient evaporites always representative of synchronous seawater chemistry? Chemical Geology, 252: 109-124.

38) Reeves J.M., Chivas A.R., García A., Holt S., Couapel M.J.J., Jones B.G., Cendón D.I. and Fink D. (2008). The sedimentary record of palaeoenvironments and sea-level change in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia through the last glacial cycle. Quaternary International 183: 3-22.

39) Playà E., Cendón D.I., Travé A., Chivas A.R., García A. (2007) Non-marine evaporites with both inherited marine and continental signatures: the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, at ~70 Ka. Sedimentary Geology, 201: 267-285.

40) Playà E., Cendón D.I., Travé A., Chivas A.R., García A. (2007) Using multiple geochemical proxies to trace origin of gypsum (Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, ~70ka). Geogaceta 42: 135-138.

41) Gibson J.J. Sadek M.A., Stone D.J.M, Hughes C., Hankin S., Cendón D.I., Hollins S.E. (2007) Evaporative Isotopic enrichment as a constraint on reach water balance along a dryland river. Isotopes in Environmental Health Studies 44(1): 83-98.

42) Cendón D. I., Peryt, T.M., Ayora C., Pueyo J. J., and Taberner C. (2004).The importance of recycling processes in the Middle Miocene Badenian evaporite basin (Carpathian foredeep): palaeoenvironmental implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 212: 141-158.

43) Cendón D. I., Graham I.T., Colchester D., Pogson, R.E., Austen, D. (2004). Smoky quartz and associated minerals from Blue Hill Quarry, Oberon, NSW. Australian Journal of Mineralogy 10 (2): 47-52.

44) Cendón D. I., Ayora C., Pueyo J. J., and Taberner C. (2003). The geochemical evolution of the Catalan potash subbasin, South Pyrenean foreland basin (Spain). Chemical Geology 200: 339-357.

45) Ayora C., Cendón D. I., Taberner C., and Pueyo J. J. (2001) Brine-mineral reactions in evaporite basins: Implications for the composition of ancient oceans. Geology 29(3): 251-254.

46) Graham I. T., Colchester D., Cendón D. I., and Austen D. (2001). Siderite and associated minerals from Bendalong, South Coast, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Mineralogy 7(2): 49-54.

47) Taberner C., Cendón D. I., Pueyo J. J., and Ayora C. (2000) The use of environmental markers to distinguish marine vs. continental deposition and to quantify the significance of recycling in evaporite basins. Sedimentary Geology 137(3-4): 213-240.

48) Shepherd T. J., Ayora C., Cendón D. I., Chenery S. R., and Moissette A. (1998) Quantitative solute analysis of fluid inclusions in halite by LA-ICP-MS and cryo-SEM-EDS: complementary microbeam techniques. European Journal of Mineralogy 10: 1097-1108.

49) Ayora C., Cendón D. I., Taberner C., Fanlo I., García-Veigas J., and Pueyo J. J. (1998) Water-rock reactions in evaporite basins: their role in the formation of potash deposits. In Water-Rock Interaction (WRI-9) (ed. A. Hulston), pp. 289-292. Balkema.

50) Cendón D. I., Ayora C., and Pueyo J. J. (1998) The origin of barren bodies in the Subiza potash deposit, Navarra, Spain: Implications for sylvite formation. Journal of Sedimentary Research 68(1): 43-52.


Recent Reports

51) Hankin S. and Cendón D.I. (2015) Measurement and preliminary interpretation of isotopes in groundwater at Talwood, QLD. ANSTO/C-1434. Prepared for Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mining, QLD. Commercial In Confidence, 17 pp and Appendices.

52) Cendón D.I., Hankin S., Kelly B., Hollins S., Martel L. (2014) Hydrogeochemistry and isotopes in groundwater from the Condamine Catchment Alluvial Aquifer System (SE-QLD)- Implications for residence times and recharge.  ANSTO/C-1395 Revision A, Prepared for the Cotton Research Development Corporation, 59 pp and Appendices.

53) Meredith K., Cendón D.I., Hankin S., Peterson M., Hollins S. (2014) Assessment of the aquifers in the West Canning Basin-Pardoo - application of isotopic and hydrogeochemical techniques. ANSTO/C-1362, 86 pp

54) Hughes C., Cendón D.I., Hollins S. (2013). Water stable isotopes investigation in the Ranger Uranium Mine, NT, Australia. ANSTO/C-1356, 19 pp.

55) Peterson M.A., Cendón D.I., Hankin S., Chisari R. (2012). Peabody: Metropolitan colliery groundwater dating and chemistry. ANSTO/C-1296. Prepared for Peabody Energy Pty Ltd., 85 pp.

56) Meredith K., Cendón D.I., Hankin S., Hollins S. (2012). Allanooka-Casuarinas groundwater dating, Western Australia. ANSTO/C-1241. Prepared for the Department of Water, Western Australia, 36 pp.

57) Cendón D.I., Hankin S. and Hollins S. (2011). Jack Hills Groundwater dating, Western Australia. ANSTO/C-1161 Revision A. Prepared for Crosslands Resources Ltd, 56 pp.

58) Gibson J.J., Birks S.J., Yi Y., Moncur M., Tattrie K.R., Jasechko S., Richardson K., Szabova M., Cendón D. I., Marandi A. (2010). Isotopic tracing of surface/groundwater interactions, groundwater age and salinity in the southern Athabasca in-situ oil sands region: Final report on baseline surveys. Prepared for ConocoPhillips Canada Inc. and Nexen Inc. 206 pp.

59) Meredith K., Cendón D.I., Hollins S. (2010). North Gnangara groundwater dating, Western Australia. ANSTO/C-1084. Prepared for the Department of Water, Western Australia, 47 pp.

60) Cendón D.I. and Hankin S. (2009). The 14C ages for groundwater in the Narara borefield (Gosford, NSW), ANSTO/C-1027. Prepared for Gosford City Council, NSW, 17 pp.

61) Gibson J.J., Birks S.J., Tattrie K.R., Lacroix M.P., Cendón D.I., Szabova M., Richardson K., Harder S. (2008) Isotopic and geochemical tracer investigations, southern Athabasca in-situ oil sand region, Northeastern Alberta: 2007 baseline surveys. Prepared for ConocoPhillips Canada Inc. 266 pp.

62) Cendón D.I. and Hankin S. (2008) The 14C ages for groundwater in the Bangalow and Ourimbah creek borefields (Gosford, NSW), ANSTO/C-988. Prepared for Gosford City Council, NSW, 24 pp.