Family Physicians
29 years of experience

7130 Sarajevo Pl
Dulles, VA 20189
Locations and availability (1)

Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
University of North Texas (1981)
  • Currently 3 of 4 apples
Top 50%

Awards & Distinctions ?

American Board of Family Medicine

Publications & Research

Dr. Christensen has contributed to 6 publications.
Title Isotopic Tracking of Hanford 300 Area Derived Uranium in the Columbia River.
Date February 2011
Journal Environmental Science & Technology

Our objectives in this study are to quantify the discharge rate of uranium (U) to the Columbia River from the Hanford Site's 300 Area and to follow that U downriver to constrain its fate. Uranium from the Hanford Site has variable isotopic composition due to nuclear industrial processes carried out at the site. This characteristic makes it possible to use high-precision isotopic measurements of U in environmental samples to identify even trace levels of contaminant U, determine its sources, and estimate discharge rates. Our data on river water samples indicate that as much as 3.2 kg/day can enter the Columbia River from the 300 Area, which is only a small fraction of the total load of dissolved natural background U carried by the Columbia River. This very low level of Hanford-derived U can be discerned, despite dilution to <1% of natural background U, 400 km downstream from the Hanford Site. These results indicate that isotopic methods can allow the amounts of U from the 300 Area of the Hanford Site entering the Columbia River to be measured accurately to ascertain whether they are an environmental concern or insignificant relative to natural uranium background in the Columbia River.

Title Pb Isotopes As an Indicator of the Asian Contribution to Particulate Air Pollution in Urban California.
Date February 2011
Journal Environmental Science & Technology

During the last two decades, expanding industrial activity in east Asia has led to increased production of airborne pollutants that can be transported to North America. Previous efforts to detect this trans-Pacific pollution have relied upon remote sensing and remote sample locations. We tested whether Pb isotope ratios in airborne particles can be used to directly evaluate the Asian contribution to airborne particles of anthropogenic origin in western North America, using a time series of samples from a pair of sites upwind and downwind of the San Francisco Bay Area. Our results for airborne Pb at these sites indicate a median value of 29% Asian origin, based on mixing relations between distinct regional sample groups. This trans-Pacific Pb is present in small quantities but serves as a tracer for airborne particles within the growing Asian industrial plume. We then applied this analysis to archived samples from urban sites in central California. Taken together, our results suggest that the analysis of Pb isotopes can reveal the distribution of airborne particles affected by Asian industrial pollution at urban sites in northern California. Under suitable circumstances, this analysis can improve understanding of the global transport of pollution, independent of transport models.

Title In Situ Long-term Reductive Bioimmobilization of Cr(vi) in Groundwater Using Hydrogen Release Compound.
Date January 2009
Journal Environmental Science & Technology

The results of a field experiment designed to test the effectiveness of a novel approach for long-term, in situ bioimmobilization of toxic and soluble Cr(VI) in groundwater using a hydrogen release compound (HRC)--a slow release glycerol polylactate--are described. The field experiment was conducted at the Hanford Site (Washington), a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear production facility, using a combination of hydrogeological, geophysical, geochemical, and microbiological measurements and analyses of water samples and sediments. The results of this experiment show that a single HRC injection into groundwater stimulates an increase in biomass, a depletion of terminal electron acceptors O2, NO3-, and SO4(2-), and an increase in Fe2+, resulting in a significant decrease in soluble Cr(VI). The Cr(VI) concentration has remained below the background concentration in the downgradient pumping/ monitoring well, and below the detection limit in the injection well for more than 3 years after the HRC injection. The degree of sustainability of Cr(VI) reductive bioimmobilization under different redox conditions at this and other contaminated sites is currently under study.

Title Identifying the Sources of Subsurface Contamination at the Hanford Site in Washington Using High-precision Uranium Isotopic Measurements.
Date October 2004
Journal Environmental Science & Technology

In the mid-1990s, a groundwater plume of uranium (U) was detected in monitoring wells in the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area at the Hanford Site in Washington. This area has been used since the late 1940s to store high-level radioactive waste and other products of U fuel-rod processing. Using multiple-collector ICP source magnetic sector mass spectrometry, high-precision uranium isotopic analyses were conducted of samples of vadose zone contamination and of groundwater. The isotope ratios 236U/238U, 234U/238U, and 238U/235U are used to distinguish contaminant sources. On the basis of the isotopic data, the source of the groundwater contamination appears to be related to a 1951 overflow event at tank BX-102 that spilled high-level U waste into the vadose zone. The U isotopic variation of the groundwater plume is a result of mixing between contaminant U from this spill and natural background U. Vadose zone U contamination at tank B-110 likely predates the recorded tank leak and can be ruled out as a significant source of groundwater contamination, based on the U isotopic composition. The locus of vadose zone contamination is displaced from the initial locus of groundwater contamination, indicating that lateral migration in the vadose zone was at least 8 times greater than vertical migration. The time evolution of the groundwater plume suggests an average U migration rate of approximately 0.7-0.8 m/day showing slight retardation relative to a groundwater flow of approximately 1 m/day.

Title The Bacterial Flora of the Conjunctival Anophthalmic Socket in Glass Prosthesis-carriers.
Date May 1975
Journal Acta Ophthalmologica
Title Hafnium Isotope Stratigraphy of Ferromanganese Crusts
Journal Science (new York, N.y.)

A Cenozoic record of hafnium isotopic compositions of central Pacific deep water has been obtained from two ferromanganese crusts. The crusts are separated by more than 3000 kilometers but display similar secular variations. Significant fluctuations in hafnium isotopic composition occurred in the Eocene and Oligocene, possibly related to direct advection from the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Hafnium isotopic compositions have remained approximately uniform for the past 20 million years, probably reflecting increased isolation of the central Pacific. The mechanisms responsible for the increase in (87)Sr/(86)Sr in seawater through the Cenozoic apparently had no effect on central Pacific deep-water hafnium.

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