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College of Arts & Sciences

Dina López



Geological Sciences
306 Clippinger Laboratories

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Ph.D., 1992, Louisiana State University (Geology)

M.S., 1979, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Physics)

B.S., 1975, Universidad de El Salvador (Chemistry)

Research Interests


  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Geochemistry of hydrothermal systems
  • Fluid flow and heat transfer
  • Volcanic soil degassing
  • Acid mine drainage (AMD)

In recent years, my research has taken a twist to the investigation of the environmental causes of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology in El Salvador. Probably causes for this illness seem to be the application of pesticides that affect the kidney probably associated to arsenic in drinking water and other secondary factors. For that research, we are using geographical weighted regression and other tools for assessing the relationships between the environmental variables and the prevalence of the illness.

In general, my research interests include the geochemistry and hydrogeology of geothermal systems (including diffuse soil degassing and heat flow studies), and environmental problems such as acid mine drainage and arsenic contamination in water. At the present time, my areas of research in geothermal systems are located in Central America (El Salvador), and in Canary Islands, Spain. The release of gases from the magmatic environment, their incorporation to the groundwater system, and their release to the air at the soil-air interface can provide important information about the volcanic activity, fluid paths, and preferential routes of circulation in the upper crust. This information is important for geothermal energy exploitation as well as for volcanic monitoring.

I am also interested in environmental problems associated with mining and resource exploitation. Within Ohio, I investigate the chemistry, fluid flow, and mass transfer associated with acid mine drainage from coal mines. The exploitation of sulfide-rich coal in this region produces mine drainage of low pH and high acidity and metal concentrations (mainly iron, aluminum, and manganese) affecting hundreds of miles of streams and aquatic life. I investigate the hydrology of abandoned coal mines and the fate of the acid mine drainage chemicals in the environment. In addition, I have also investigated a closed uranium mine in Poços de Caldas, Brazil. I am also investigating arsenic in volcanic lakes and groundwaters, and acid mine drainage problems in El Salvador.

I belong to the Appalachian Watersheds Research Group of Ohio University. This group has a multidisciplinary approach to the study of acid mine drainage problem and treatment. During the recent years we have focused in studying the relationship between the physics of the flow, the chemistry of water and sediments, and the biology of the stream in the acid mine drainage problem, especially in the response to remediation, such as alkalinity additions.

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 2050: Statistical Methods in Geology
  • GEOL 2310: Water and Pollution
  • GEOL 3/5050: Modeling and Computer Methods in Geology
  • GEOL 4/5270: Water Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4/5280: Physical Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4/5290: Contaminant Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4/5710: Advanced Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 4/5810: Groundwater Flow Modeling
  • GEOL 4/5820: Transport Processes in Groundwater

Professional Appointments

2008-present, Professor

2001-2008, Associate Professor

1995-2001, Assistant Professor

Representative Publications

Acid Mine Drainage and Other Contaminant Problems Publications

  • Gómez-Puentes, F.J., Pérez-Flores, M.A., Reyes-López, J.A., López, D.L.,  Herrera-Barrientos, F., García-Cueto, R.O., Romero-Hernández, S., Solís-Domínguez, F.A., Loeches Garrido, M.M., 2016. Geochemical modeling and low-frequency geoelectrical methods to evaluate the impact of an open dump in arid and deltaic environments. Environmental Earch Sciences, 75:1062.
  • Astray, G., Fernández González, M., Rodríguez Rajo, F.J., López, D., Mejuto, J.C., 2016. Airborne catanea pollen forecasting model for ecological and allergological implementation. Science of the Total Environment, STOTEN, v. 548-549, pp. 110-121.
  • Astray, G., Soto, B., López, D., Iglesias, M.A., and Mejuto, J.C., 2016. Application of transient data analysis and artificial neural network in the prediction of discharge of Lor River, NW Spain. Water Science and Technology, pp. 1756-1767.
  • Gbolo, Prosper, and López, Dina L., 2015. Analysis of trace elements pollution within streambed sediments from the Shade River Watershed, southeastern Ohio. Environ Earth Sci, vol. 73, pp. 7193–7204.
  • Hernandez Suárez M, Astray Dopazo G, Larios López D, Espinosa F, 2015. Identification of Relevant Phytochemical Constituents for Characterization and Authentication of Tomatoes by General Linear Model Linked to Automatic Interaction Detection (GLM-AID) and Artificial Neural Network Models (ANNs). PLOS ONE 10(6): e0128566. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128566.
  • López. A., Ribó. A., Quinteros E., Mejía. R., Alfaro, D., Beltetón W., Orantes C.M., Hernández, C.E., Pleites E., López D.L., 2015. Riesgo de exposición a contaminantes nefrotóxicos en las comunidades Las Brisas, El Salvador. Proceedings Congress of Engineering and Architecture CONIA 2015, Universidad Católica Centroamericana Jose Simeon Cañas, San Salvador, El Salvador.
  • Mejía, R., Quinteros, E., López, A., Ribó, A., Cedillos, H., Orantes, C.M., Valladares, E., López, D.L., 2014. Pesticide-Handling Practices in Agriculture in El Salvador: An Example from 42 Patient Farmers with Chronic Kidney Disease in the Bajo Lempa Region. Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, v. 2, pp. 56-70.
  • Astray Dopazo, G., González-Temes, M., López, D.L., Mejuto, J.C., 2014. Density, viscosity and refractive index prediction of binary and ternary mixtures systems of ionic liquid. Mediterr. J. Chem., vo. 3, No. 4, pp. 972-986.
  • Silva, N.C., Chaga, E.G.l., Abreu, C.B., Dias, D.C.S., Lopez, D., Guerreiro, E.T.Z., Alberti, H.L.C., Braz, M.L., Branco, O., and Fleming, P., 2014. Radon as a natural tracer for gas transport within uranium waste rock piles. Radiation Protection Dosimetry (2014), pp. 1–4.
  • VanDervort, D.R.; López, D.L.; Orantes, C.M.;Rodríguez, D.S; 2014. Spatial Distribution of Unspecified Chronic Kidney Disease in El Salvador by Crop Area Cultivated and Ambient Temperature, MEDICC Review, Vol 16, No 2, pp. 31-38.
  • Kruse, N.A; Bowman, J.; López, D.; Migliore, E.; Jackson, G.P.; 2014. Characterization and fate of polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in soils and sediments at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Ohio. Chemosphere, v. 114, pp. 93–100.
  • Kruse, N.A.; Stoertz, M.W.; Green, D.H.; Bowman, J.R.; López, D.L.; 2014. Acidity Loading Behavior in Coal-Mined Watersheds, Mine Water Environ v.33, p.177–186.
  • Das Chagas, E.G.L.; Abreu, C.B.; Dias, D.C.S.; López, D.; Guerrero, E.T.Z.; Alberti, H.L.C.; Couto, J.A.; Braz, M.L.; Silva, N.C.; Branco, O.; Fleming, P.M.; 2013. O Rn-222 como traçador natural no estudo de transporte de gases no interior de pilhas de estéreis de mineraçao. 2013 International Nuclear Atlantic Conference - INAC 2013 Recife, PE, Brazil, November 24-29, 2013 ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE ENERGIA NUCLEAR - ABEN ISBN: 978-85-99141-05-2.
  • Ribó A., Vela Parada. E., Quinteros, E., Mejía, R., C. M. Orantes, C.M., Molinas Daví, J., López, D.L.. 2014. (GEONEFROSALVA, una plataforma SIG en software libre, parala caracterización de los factores de riesgo de la enfermedad renal crónica de causas no tradicionales que afecta la población agrícola de El Salvador. VIII Jornadas de SIG Libre, Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain, March 26-27, 2014.
  • Astray, G.; González-Temes, M.; López, D., 2013. Modelos de predicción basados en inteligencia artificial. Revista Investigación, Cultura, Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad de Vigo, Galicia, Spain, pp. 34-41.
  • Kruse Daniels, N.A.; DeRose, L.; Korenowski, R.;Bowman, J.R.; Mackey, A.L.; López, D.L., Johnson, K., Rankin, E., 2013. The role of remediation, natural alkalinity sources and physical stream parameters in stream recovery, Journal of Environmental Management 128, pp. 1000-1011.
  • Kruse Daniels, N.A.; Bowman, J.R.; Mackey, A.L.; López, D.L., 2013. A comparative study of lime doser treatment. International Mine Water Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Wolkersdorfer, Brown & Figueroa Editors. Golden, Colorado, pp. 103-105.
  • Bowman, J.; López, D.; Kruse, N.; and Migliore, E.; 2013. Preliminary assessment of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) congeners, aroclors, dioxins, and furans in the sediment and soil at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Portsmouth gaseous diffusion plant (PORTS), Piketon, Ohio. Report presented to the United States Department of Energy (DOE) by Ohio University PORTSfuture Project. Athens, Ohio. 106 pages.
  • Gbolo, P. and López, D.L., 2013. Chemical and Geological Control on Surface Water within the Shade River Watershed in Southeastern Ohio, Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.41001.
  • Gómez-Puentes. F.J.; Reyes-López, J.A.; López, D.L.; Carreón-Diazconti, C.; and Belmonte-Jiménez, S., 2013. Geochemical processes controlling the groundwater transport of contaminants released by a dump in an arid region of México. Environ Earth Sci DOI 10.1007/s12665-013-2456-2.
  • Lopez, D.L.; Bundschuh, J; Birkle, P.; Armienta, M.A.; Cumbal, C.; Sracek, O.; Cornejo, C.; Ormachea, M., 2012. Arsenic in volcanic geothermal fluids of Latin America. In: Arsenic in Latin America Special Issue, J. Bunschuh editor, Science of the Total Environment, v. 429, p. 57-75.
  • Bundschuh, j.; Liu C.W; Jean, J.S., Armienta, M.A., Moreno López, M.V., Lopez, D.L., Cornejo, L., Fagundes, L., Lauer Macedo, L., Tenuta, A.. 2012. Arsenic in the human food chain: The state-of-the-art knowledge in Latin America. In: Arsenic in Latin America Special Issue, J. Bunschuh editor, Science of the Total Environment, v. 429, p. 92-106.
  • Bundschuh, J., Litter, M.I., Parvez, F., Román-Ross, G., Nicolli, H.B., Jean, J.S.,, Liu, C.W., López, D.L., Armienta, M.A., Guilherme, L.R.G., Gomez Cuevas, A., Cornejo, L., Cumbal, L., Toujaguezz, R., 2012. One century of arsenic exposure in Latin America: A review of history and occurrence from 14 countries . In: Arsenic in Latin America Special Issue, J. Bunschuh editor, Science of the Total Environment, v. 429, p. 2-35.
  • Gomes, AFS, Lopez, DL,  Ana Cláudia Q. Ladeira, AC. Characterization and assessment of chemical modifications of metal-bearing sludges arising from unsuitable disposal, Journal of Hazardous Materials 199– 200 (2012) 418– 425.
  • Abreu., CB, Fleming, PM, Ciminelli., VST, Lopez, DL, Rodrigues., PCH, and Branco, OEA, 2011. Soil gas compositions as a tool for understanding acid mine drainage formation and air flow in a uranium waste rock pile. Proceedings 2011 International Mine Water Association (IMWA) Congress, pp 247-252.  
  • Gómez Puente, F.J., Reyes López, J.A., López, D.L., Belmonte Jimenez, S., 2012, Modelación geoquímica del agua subterranean en un sitio de disposición final de desperdicios sólidos urbanos.  Rev. Int. Contam. Ambie. 28 Sup. (1) 125-131.
  • Lopez, D. L., Gierlowski-Kordesch, E., and Hollenkamp, C., 2010. Geochemical mobility and bioavailability of heavy metals in a lake affected by acid mine drainage: Lake Hope, Vinton County, Ohio. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, v. 213, p. 27-45.

Diffuse Soil Degassing and Hydrothermal Process Publications

  • Richardson, J., Lopez, D., Leftwich, T., Angle, M., Wolfe, M., and Fugitt, F., 2016, The characterization of flooded abandoned mines in Ohio as a low-temperature geothermal resource, in Dowling, C.B., Neumann, K., and Florea, L.J., eds., Geothermal Energy: An Important Resource: Geological Society of America Special Paper 519,  p. 19–41, doi:10.1130/2016.2519(02).
  • López Larios, D.L., Araujo, P.A., Delgado, I., Cid, J.A., y Astray Dopazo, G., 2015. Geochemistry of hydrothermal systems: thermal springs of Ourense. Proceedings 1st International Congress on Water Healing SPA and Quality of Life, Ourense, Spain, 23-24 September 2015. Failde Garrido, J.M. et al. editors, Campus da Auga, Vicerrectoria del Campus de Ourense, Universida de Vigo, pp. 23-26.
  • Marrero-Diaz, R., Alcalá, F.J., Nemesio M. Pérez, N.M., López, D.L., Melián, G.V., Padrón, E. and Padilla, G.D., 2015. Aquifer recharge estimation through atmospheric chloride mass balance at Las Cañadas Caldera, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, Journal Water, v. 7, 2451-2471.
  • Marrero-Diaz, R.,  López, D.L., Pérez, N.P., Custodio, E., Sumino, H. Melián, G.V., Padrón, E., Hernández, P.A., Calvo, D., Barrancos, J., Padilla. G., Sortino, F., 2015. Carbon dioxide and helium dissolved gases in groundwater at central Tenerife Island, Canary Islands: chemical and isotopic characterization. Bull Volcanol vol. 77:86, pp. 1-18.
  • Hernández, P., Calvari, S., Ramos, A., Pérez, N.P., Márquez, A., Roberto Quevedo, Barrancos, J., Padrón, E., Padilla, G.D., López, D., Rodríguez, A., Melián, G.V., Dionis, S., Rodríguez, F., Calvo, D., and Spampinato, L. 2014. Magma emission rates from shallow submarine eruptions using thermal airborne imaging. Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 154, pp. 219-225.
  • López, D. L.,Bundschuh, J., Birkle, P., Armienta, M.A., Cumbal, L., Sracek, O., Cornejo, L., Ormachea, M., 2012. Arsenic in volcanic geothermal fluids of Latin America, Science of The Total Environment, 429, 57-75, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.08.043.
  • Marrero, R., López, D., Pérez, N., Custodio, E., 2011. Implicaciones de la composición isotópica del agua y de la relación Cl/Br en la interpretación de los procesos hidrogeológicos del acuífero de Las Cañadas del Teide, Tenerife, Islas Canarias. Libro Homenaje Prof. Emilio Custodio "Cuatro décadas de investigación y formación en águas subterráneas", AIH-GE, Zaragoza, pp. 383-391. ISBN: 978-84-938046-1-9.
  • Bennati, L., Finizola, A., Walker, J.A., López, D.L., Camilo Higuera-Diaz, I., Schütze, C., Barahona, F., Cartagena, R., Conde, V., Funes, R., Rios, C., 2011. Fluid circulation in a complex volcano-tectonic setting, inferred from self-potential and soil CO2 flux surveys: The Santa María–Cerro Quemado–Zunil volcanoes and Xela caldera (Northwestern Guatemala), Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 199(3–4), 216-229, doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.11.008.
  • Marrero, R., Pérez, N.M., López, D.L., Custodio, E. ,2010. Modelo Hidrogeoquímico del acuífero de Las Cañadas del Teide, Tenerife, Islas Canarias. Jornadas sobre “El conocimiento de los recursos hídricos en Canarias cuatro décadas después del proyecto SPA-15”. Libro Homenaje póstumo al Ingeniero D. José Sáenz de Oiza, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 14 December 2010. pp 81-86. ISBN: 978-84-938046-0-2. 
  • Cumbal, Luis, Vallejo, Paulina, Rodriguez, Brigida, López, D.L., 2010. Arsenic in geothermal sources at the north-central Andean region of Ecuador: concentrations and mechanisms of mobility, Environmental Earth Sciences, 61(2), 299-310, doi: 10.1007/s12665-009-0343-7.

Recent Titles of Advisee's Completed Theses

  • Maj, Sarah. The Fate of Nutrients in Streams Affected by Acid Mine Drainage. M. Sc. in Geology, 2016, Ohio University.
  • Maj, Sarah. The Effects of Iron Oxidation in Stream Recovery in Hewett Fork, Ohio. B. Sc. in Geology, 2014, Ohio University.
  • Richardson, Joshua. Thermal and Hydrological Study of Flooded Abandoned Coal Mines in Ohio as Potential Heat Exchangers. M. Sc. in Geology, 2014, Ohio University.
  • Schleich, Katharine L.. Geochemical Modeling of Processes Affecting Water and Sediment Chemistry and their Relationship to Biological Recovery in an Acid Mine Drainage Remediated Stream, M. Sc. in Geology, 2014, Ohio University.
  • Dettmer, Adam. Determination of Baseline Radon Concentrations in Groundwater in Southeast Ohio, B. Sc. in Geology 2013, Ohio University.
  • Korenowsky, Rebekah, Hydrogeochemical analysis of alkalinity and heavy metal inputs on water and sediment quality of an acid mine drainage remediated stream: Hewett Fork, Southeastern Ohio. B. Sc. in Geology, 2012.
  • VanDervort, Darcy, Investigating the possible chemical and physical causes of chronic kidney disease in El Salvador, B. Sc. in Geology, 2012.
  • DeRose, Lisa M., Physical and Chemical Controls on Natural and Anthropogenic Remediation of Two Streams Impacted by Acid Mine Drainage in the Raccoon Creek Watershed, Ohio, M.S. Thesis, 2011.
  • Marrero Díaz, Rayco. Modelo Hidrogeoquímico del Acuífero de Las Cañadas del Teide, Tenerife, Islas Canarias. Ph. D. Thesis (codirected with Nemesio Pérez). Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Departamento de Ingenieria del Terreno, Cartografía y Geofísica, 2010.
  • Cook, Shannon, The Hydrogeology of an Old Growth Forest with Implications for Defining Impact Zones Associated with Underground Mining, M.S. Thesis, 2008.
  • Zhang, Qian, Chemical Characterization of AMD Sediments: Possible Application to Arsenic Remediation, M.S. Environmental Studies Thesis, 2008.
  • Gbolo, Prosper, Chemical and Geological Controls on the Composition of Waters and Sediments in Streams Located within the Western Allegheny Plateau: The Shade River Watershed. M.S. Thesis, 2008.
  • Sullivan, Michael, Water Balance of the San Simon River Groundwater Basin, El Salvador, Central America: Implications for the Berlin Geothermal Field, M.S. Thesis, 2008.
  • Larkins, Clayton, Analysis of physical and chemical parameters at Majestic Mine, Athens County, Ohio, and the evaluation of passive remediation efforts, B. Sc. in Geology, 2007.
  • Graham, Amber, Effects of subsidence closure and stream reclamation on the hydrogeochemistry of Majestic Mine, Athens County, Ohio, M.S. Thesis, 2006.
  • Castro, Marlon. Simulation of silica scaling in the reinjection zone of Berlin Geothermal Field, El Salvador, Central America. Master in Engineering Thesis. Universidad de Baja California, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, 2006.
  • Amaning, Kwarteng, Streamwater and Sediment Chemistry of Ohio's Western Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion and their Relation to Aquatic Life, M.S. Thesis, 2006.
  • Clinton, Timothy, Natural versus anthropogenic remediation of acid mine drainage in southeast Ohio: an assessment of water and sediment chemistry, M.S. Thesis, 2005.
  • Ruiz, Victoria, Diffuse soil degassing at abandoned underground coal mines. M.S. Thesis, 2003.
  • Soto, Yomari, The impact of the Fajardo Municipal Landfill on Fajardo River, Puerto Rico. M.S. Thesis 2003.
  • Kudel, David. Investigation of heavy metal contamination in Ilopango Lake, El Salvador, Central America, M.S. Environmental Studies Thesis.
  • Ransom, Loretta, Volcanic diffuse soil degassing and lake chemistry of the Ilopango Caldera system, El Salvador, Central America, M.Sc. in Geology, 2002.
  • Doe, Carol F., Hydrological and thermal mechanisms in a burning coal refuse pile: The Misco gob pile, Perry County, Ohio, M.S. Thesis, 2001.
  • Shimala, Jennifer, Hydrogeochemical characterization of the Carbondale wetland, Athens County, Ohio: Evaluation of acid mine drainage remediation alternatives. M.Sc. in Geology, 2000.
  • Carroll, Kenneth C., The transport and fate of acid mine drainage along the Snowfork flowpath in the Monday Creek watershed, Southeastern Ohio, M.S. Thesis, 1999.
  • Hunt, Kristy, The characterization of groundwater flow and trichloroethylene transport in the West Lafayette, Ohio wellfield (Using three dimensional modeling techniques), M.Sc. in Geology, 1999.
  • Prim, Debra, The effect of acid mine drainage on sedimentation processes and water quality at Lake Hope, Lake Hope State Park, Vinton County, Ohio, M.Sc. in Geology, 1999.
  • McCutcheon, Molly, Anthropogenic and volcanic pollution at Coatepeque Lake, El Salvador, Senior Thesis, B.S. in Geology, 1998.
  • Pigati, Eric. The Hydrology and Geochemistry of an Abandoned Underground Coal Mine: The Majestic Mine, Athens County, Ohio, M.Sc. in Geology, 1997.
  • Overly, Bryan. The Chemical and Microbiological Variability of Acid Mine Drainage Affecting the Snow Fork Drainage Basin, Ohio: the Essex Underground Mine, M.Sc. in Environmental Studies, 1997.



  • Best Paper Award, 2006 meeting of the Geothermal Resources Council, Geofluids section, for the paper: "Assessment of silica scaling around injection wells of the Berlin Geothermal Field, El Salvador, using field experiments and chemical modeling".
  • Best Paper Award, 2004 meeting of the Geothermal Resources Council, for the paper: "Diffuse and Convective Degassing of Soil Gases and Heat at the TR-6-Zapotillo Hydrothermal Discharge Zone, Berlin Geothermal Field, El Salvador".
  • Victor de Sola 2003 National Award for outstanding contributions to the development of Geothermal Energy in El Salvador, LaGeo (Geothermal Energy Company in El Salvador).
  • Outstanding Faculty Award 1999, 2000, 2001, Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
  • International Fellowship, American Association of University Women 1990-1991.
  • Fellowship, Organization of American States 1988-1990.
  • Scholarship LASPAU (Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities), 1977-79.

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