Prof. Yishai Weinstein

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Head of the Geochemistry Lab
Building 203, Room 017
Reception Hours
by appointment
Research Categories
Research Students:
Specialization fields

Oceanography, Hydrology, Geology, Volcanology


Weinstein recent Publications (peer-reviewd)


Tal, A., Weinstein, Y., Yechieli, Y. and Borisover , M. 2017, The influence of fish ponds and salinization on groundwater quality in the multi-layer coastal aquifer system in Israel, Journal of Hydrology 551, 768-783.

Weinstein, Y. and Heimann, A. 2016, Spatial and Temporal Patterns in the Levant late Cenozoic volcanism, in: Enzel, Y. and Bar-Yoseph, O. (eds), Quaternary of the Levant, Chap. 5, Cambridge University Press, pp. 45-51.

Kiro, Y., Weinstein, Y., Starinsky, A. and Yechieli, Y. 2015, Application of radon and radium isotopes to groundwater flow dynamics: an example from the Dead Sea, Chemical Geology 411, 155-171.

Regenauer-Lieb, K., Rosenbaum, G., Lyakhovsky, V., Liu, J., Weinberg, R., Segev, A. and Weinstein, Y. 2015, Melt instabilities in a cold lithosphere and implications for intraplate volcanism in the Harrat Ash-Shaam volcanic field (NW Arabia), Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth 120(3), 1543-1558.

Rodellas, V., Garcia-Orellana1, J., Masqué, P., Feldman, M. and Weinstein, Y. 2015, Submarine Groundwater Discharge: a major source of nutrients to the Mediterranean Sea, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 112(13), 3926-3930.

Shalem, Y., Weinstein, Y., Levi, E., Herut, B., Goldman, M. and Yechieli, Y. 2014, The extent of aquifer salinization next to an estuarine river, an example from the eastern Mediterranean, Hydrogeology Journal DOI 10.1007/s10040-014-1192-3.

Weinstein, Y. and Garfunkel, Z. 2014, The Dead Sea transform and the volcanism in northwestern Arabia, in: Garfunkel, Z. and Ben Avraham, Z (eds.), The Dead Sea Transform, Springer, pp. 91-108.

Kiro, Y., Weinstein, Y., Yechieli, Y. and Starinsky, A. 2014, The role of long-term aquifer seawater circulation in elemental mass balances: a lesson from the Dead Sea, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 394, 146-158.

Weinstein, Y., Weinberger, R. and Calvert, A. 2013, High resolution 40Ar/39Ar study of Mount Avital, northern Golan: reconstructing the interaction between volcanism and a drainage system and their impact on eruptive styles, Bulletin of Volcanology 75, 712, doi:10.1007/s00445-013-0712-7

Kiro, Y., Weinstein, Y., Starinsky, A. and Yechieli, Y. 2013, Groundwater ages and reaction rates during seawater circulation in the Dead Sea aquifer, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 122, 17-35, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2013.08.005

Shalev, E., Lyakhovsky, V., Weinstein, Y. and Ben-Avraham, Z. 2012, The Thermal Structure of Israel and the Dead Sea Fault, Tectonophysics (accepted).

Kiro, Y., Yechieli, Y., Voss, C., Starinsky, A. and Weinstein, Y. 2012, Modeling radium distribution in coastal aquifers during sea level changes: the Dead Sea case, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 88, 237-254.

Weinstein, Y., 2012, Transform faults as lithospheric boundaries, an example from the Dead Sea transform, Journal of Geodynamics 54, 21-28, doi:10.1016/j.jog.2011.09.005.

Weinstein, Y., Yechieli, Y., Shalem, Y., Burnett, W. C., Swarzenski, P. W. and Herut, B., 2011, What is the role of Fresh Groundwater and Recirculated Seawater in conveying Nutrients to the Coastal Ocean? Environmental Science and Technology 45(12), 5195–5200, DOI: 10.1021/es104394r

Shaanan, U., Porat, N., Navon, O., Weinberger, R., Calvert, A. and Weinstein, Y., 2011, OSL dating of a Pleistocene maar: Birket Ram, the Golan heights, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 201(1-4), 397-403, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.06.007

Lazar, B., Weinstein, Y., Paytan, A., Magal, E., Bruce, D. and Kolodny, Y., 2008, Ra and Th adsorption coefficients in lakes – Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) "natural experiment" Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72(14), 3446-3459.

Solomon, E. A., Kastner, M., Jannasch, J., Robertson, G. and Weinstein, Y. 2008, Dynamic fluid flow and chemical fluxes associated with a seafloor gas hydrate deposit on the northern Gulf of Mexico slope, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 270(1-2), 95-105.

Weinstein, Y., Burnett, W. C., Swarzenski, P. W, Shalem, Y., Yechieli, Y., and Herut, B. 2007, The role of coastal aquifer heterogeneity in determining fresh groundwater discharge and seawater recycling: an example from the Carmel coast, Israel.  Journal of Geophysical Research 112, C12016, doi:10.1029/2007JC004112.

Burnett, W. C., Santos, I., Weinstein, Y., Swarzenski, P. W. and Herut, B. 2007, Remaining uncertainties in the use of Rn-222 as a quantitative tracer of submarine groundwater discharge, in: W. Sanford (ed.), A New Focus on Groundwater–Seawater Interactions, IAHS Publ. 312, 109-118, IAHS Press, Wallingford, UK.

Weinstein, Y., Shalem, Y., Burnett, W. C., Swarzenski, P. W. and Herut, B. 2007, Temporal variability of Submarine Groundwater Discharge: assessments via radon and seep meters, the southern Carmel Coast, Israel, in: W. Sanford (ed.), A New Focus on Groundwater–Seawater Interactions, IAHS Publ. 312, 125-133, IAHS Press, Wallingford, UK.

Weinstein, Y. 2007, A transition from Strombolian to phreatomagmatic activity induced by a lava flow damming water in a valley, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 159, 167-284.

Weinstein, Y. and Weinberger, R. 2006, The geology and volcanological history of mount Avital, Israel Journal of Earth Sciences 55, 237-255.

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

Weinstein, Y., Less, G., Kafri, U. and Herut, B. 2006, Submarine Groundwater Discharge in the southeastern Mediterranean (Israel), preliminary results, Radioactivity of the Environment 8, 360-372.

Weinstein, Y., Navon, O., Altherr, R. and Stein, M. 2006, The role of fluids and of lithospheric heterogeneity in the generation of alkali basaltic suites from northwestern Arabia, Journal of  Petrology 47, 1017-1050.


Academic Profile

The main theme in my research is the interaction between seawater and seafloor or coastal aquifers. This includes the study of water and methane discharge from the ocean floor ('cold seeps') with implications to global warming (e.g. Solomon et al. EPSL, 2008), as well as submarine Groundwater Discharge to the sea (SGD, e.g. Weinstein et al., JGR, 2007), lakes (Kinneret, Dead Sea, e.g. Kiro et al., GCA, 2012, 2013) and coastal estuaries (e.g. Shalem et al., J. Hydrology, submitted).

During my earlier works, the focus was on submarine hydrology, using instruments I developed in Scripps during my postdoc period (e.g. Kastner et al., 2000; Solomon et al., 2008). Then, the focus of research shifted to the use of natural radio-tracers, which included the establishment of a radioactive isotope lab that focuses on radium and radon research (as well as other related radionuclides, such as thorium and actinium). The advantage of using radium is that while all its four natural isotopes are radioactive, their half life (~decay rate) varies between a few days and 1,600 years, which allows their application to track processes with different time scales. We use these radionuclides to trace processes in the aquifer, fluxes of water and solutes from land to the sea and mixing between coastal water and the open sea. This includes the development of the radium groundwater dating methodology and the determination of seawater circulation time and rates in the aquifer (e.g. Kiro et al. 2013), which we hope will gain recognition as a major groundwater dating method. In 2010, we held in Jerusalem the 3rd Ra-Rn international meeting, where people both exchanged ideas and methodologies and went for a field trip at the Dead Sea to study its unique (very rich) radium and radon composition.

Another noteworthy research I am involved in is the radium balance of the whole Mediterranean (together with J. Garcia-Orellana from Barcelona), which is conducted in order to assess the general basin-scale flux of groundwater to the sea. An abstract about the preliminary results of this study was recently presented at the CIESM meeting  (Rodellas et al. 2013; Abstr. no 74, above), and a paper to Nature Geoscience is in an advanced stage of writing.

Tracing and understanding groundwater discharge patterns are important in the determination of the contribution of groundwater discharge to coastal water quality, as well as to the elemental balance of trace elements in the ocean (e.g. Fe, Mn, U, Sr isotopes and others, e.g. Kiro et al., GCA, 2013). In a paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology (Weinstein et al. 2011), I examined the contribution of the different SGD components to the coastal water quality at Dor Bay (northern Israel), with global implications to SGD sites. As a follow-up to this, I recently started studying two related topics. The first is the associated microbial communities in the sub-terrain (pore water), where SGD occurs, which is studied in collaboration with Prof. I. Berman-Frank from the Faculty of Life Science in BIU (the M.Sc. research of Ben Brinberg). The other is the study of seawater circulation rates in the coastal seafloor. The latter has major implications to the potential interaction of the circulated seawater with the coastal sediments and to the conveyance of solutes and contaminants to the sea. Preliminary results were presented at the last Geochemical Society Goldschmidt Meeting in Florence (August 2013; Abstract no. 72, above).

The above studies were conducted in collaboration with researchers, both from Israel (Geological Survey, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research and the Hebrew University) and from other countries (US, France, Spain, IAEA, Germany). We also have a large project with Palestinian researchers from the West Bank and Gaza (field work is in Gaza), which focuses on a better understanding of seawater intrusion to aquifers and groundwater discharge to the sea. It is funded by USAID MERC and coordinated by Bar-Ilan University.

Aside from the low-temperature studies, I am also engaged in 'hot' research, which is about volcanism and magma genesis in the earth's mantle. In the last few years, we published two papers that deal with accurate age determination (the Ar-Ar and OSL methods) of a sequence of volcanic events in Mt. Avital and Birket Ram from the northern Golan (Shaanan et al., JVGR, 2011; Weinstein et al., Bull. Volcanol., 2013). The paper about Mt. Avital describes a unique mechanism, where fluvio-morphological changes at the surface (damming and shifting of a river by a lava flow) caused a major shift in the style of volcanic activity, from the moderately explosive Strombolian eruption to the very aggressive style of phreatomagmatic activity. Other works deal with the tectono-magmatic association, both at mantle depth (magma generation, Regenbauer-Lieb et al., Abstract no. 76, above) and en route to the surface (Weinstein, J. Geodynamics, 2012).

Last Updated Date : 27/11/2018