Serban Danielescu

Image Serban Danielescu
Research Scientist - Groundwater -surface water interactions, Agricultural impacts on groundwater

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to ensure aquatic ecosystems are conserved and protected

  • Local and watershed scale assessment of the impacts of agricultural practices (e.g. potato production systems) on nitrogen levels in groundwater
  • Groundwater - surface water interaction
  • Use of geochemical and isotopic tracers
  • Contaminant transport in the saturated and unsaturated zones

Joint appointment with Agricultre and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Research and/or project statements


The tools included in the suite can be used for various analyses including stream hydrograph separation, water balance (e.g. evapotranspiration, drainage, infiltration, aquifer storage, etc.), soil moisture dynamics, crop water deficit and excess, crop irrigation requirements, etc. The tools included in the suite can be used in many areas of environmental research, such as the assessment of the impact of agricultural practices, urbanization, climate change etc. on surface water and groundwater.



SWIB (Soil Water Stress, Irrigation Requirement and Water Balance) is a tool that allows users to estimate daily crop water stress (either as water deficit or water excess), crop irrigation requirements and the impact of irrigation on aquifer storage, as well as a series of water balance components, based on daily measured soil moisture and precipitation. The tool provides various output and data visualization options through a module-based user-friendly interface.



ETCalc is a tool that integrates several customizable methods for calculating daily Potential Evapotranspiration (PET), Reference Evapotranspiration (ETR) and Actual Evapotranspiration (ET) based on user provided meteorological data and crop coefficients. The tool provides various output and data visualization options through a user-friendly interface and a streamlined process.



SepHydro is a tool that offers several customizable filtering algorithms for performing hydrograph separation (or baseflow separation) and assessing surface runoff and groundwater contributions to streamflow based on user provided daily streamflow data. The tool provides various output and data visualization options through a user-friendly interface and a streamlined process.

Professional activities / interests

Involved in collaborative research projects funded by ECCC and AAFC, such as Lake Winnnipeg Basin Initative (ECCC), Atlantic Living Laboratories (AAFC), etc.

Thesis co-supervisor and committee member for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students

Interests in groundwater mediated nutrient transport to surface water, local and watershed scale water balance and contaminant transport, tool development

Education and awards

Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Environmental Group, University of New Brunswick

Ph.D. Systems Ecology and Sustainable Development, University of Bucharest (Romania)

Key publications

Martel M, Glenn A, Wilson H, Danielescu S, Krobel R, Smith W, McConkey B, Guest G, Janzen H (2021) A parsimonious water budget model for Canadianagricultural conditions. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 36: 100846. DOI:

Danielescu S, Barbecot F, Morand V (2020) Groundwater contributions to surface water in the Assiniboine Delta Aquifer (ADA): A water quantity and quality perspective. Journal of Great Lakes Research. DOI:

Danielescu S, Van Stempvoort DR, Bickerton G, Roy JW (2020) Use of mature willows (Salix nigra) for hydraulic control of landfill-impacted groundwater in a temperate climate. Journal of Environmental Management 272: 111106. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111106

Lamb K, MacQuarrie KTB, Butler K, Danielescu S, Mott E, Grimmett M, Zebarth BJ (2019) Hydrogeophysical monitoring reveals primarily vertical movement of an applied tracer across a shallow, sloping low-permeability till interface: Implications for agricultural nitrate transport. Journal of Hydrology 573: 616 – 630. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.03.075

Boudreault M, Koiter A, Lobb D, Liu K, Benoy G, Owens P, Danielescu S, Li S (2018) Using colour, shape and radionuclide fingerprints to identify sources of sediment in an agricultural watershed in Atlantic Canada. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 43: 347–365. DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2018.1451781

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB, Popa A (2018) SEPHYDRO: A Customizable Online Tool for Hydrograph Separation. Groundwater 56: 589-593. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12792

Robertson WD, Van Stempvoort DR, Roy JW, Brown SJ, Spoelstra J, Schiff SL, Rudolph DR, Danielescu S, Graham G (2016) Use of an Artificial Sweetener to Identify Sources of Groundwater Nitrate Contamination. Groundwater 54: 579-587. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12399

Zebarth BJ, Danielescu S, Nyiraneza J, Ryan MC, Jiang Y, Grimmett, M Burton DL (2015) Controls on nitrate loading and implications for BMPs under intensive potato production systems in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation 35: 30-42. DOI: 10.1111/gwmr.12088

DesRoches A, Danielescu S, Butler K (2014) Structural controls on groundwater flow in a fractured bedrock aquifer underlying an agricultural region of northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Hydrogeol J 22: 1067–1086 DOI 10.1007/s10040-014-1134-0

Li Q, Xing Z, Danielescu S, Li S, Jiang Y, Meng F-R (2014) Data requirements for using combined conductivity mass balance and recursive digital filter method to estimate groundwater recharge in a small watershed, New Brunswick, Canada. Journal of Hydrology 511: 658–664. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.073

Li Q, Qi J, Xing Z, Li S, Jiang Y, Danielescu S, Zhu H, Wei X, Meng F (2014) An approach for assessing impact of land use and biophysical conditions across landscape on recharge rate and nitrogen loading of groundwater. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 196: 114–124. DOI:

Zhang R, Li Q, Chow TL, Li S, Danielescu S (2013) Baseflow separation in a small watershed in New Brunswick, Canada, using a recursive digital filter calibrated with the conductivity mass balance method, Hydrological Processes 27, 2659–2665. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9417

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB (2013) Nitrogen and oxygen isotopes in nitrate in the groundwater and surface water discharge from two rural catchments: Implications for nitrogen loading to coastal waters. Biogeochemistry 115: 111-127. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-012-9823-z

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB (2011) Nitrogen loadings to two small estuaries, Prince Edward Island, Canada: a 2-year investigation of precipitation, surface water and groundwater contributions, Hydrological Processes (Hydrol. Process.) 25: 945–957 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7881

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB, Faux RN (2009) The integration of thermal infrared imaging, discharge measurements and numerical simulation to quantify the relative contributions of freshwater inflows to small estuaries in Atlantic Canada, Hydrological Processes (Hydrol. Process.) 23: 2847–2859 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7383

Schilling C, Behrendt H, Blaschke A, Danielescu S, Dimova G, Gabriel O, Heinecke U, Kovacs A, Lampert C, Postolache C, Schreiber H, Strauss P, Zessner M (2005) Lessons learned from investigations on case study level for modelling of nutrient emissions in the Danube basin, Water Science & Technology 51: 183–191

Burt TP, Pinay G, Matheson FE, Haycock NE, Butturini A, Clement JC, Danielescu S, Dowrick DJ, Hefting MM, Hillbricht-Ilkowska A, Maitre V (2002) Water table fluctuations in the riparian zone: comparative results from a pan-European experiment, Journal of Hydrology 265: 129-148. DOI:10.1016/S0022-1694(02)00102-6

Vadineanu A, Adamescu M, Cazacu C, Danielescu S, Bodescu F (2001) Studies on natural capital and socio-economic systems. No.1: Lower Danube Wetlands System (Past and future management), Bucharest (Romania), 74 p. ISBN 973 - 0 - 0485 – 5

Research facility

95 Innovation Road
PO Box 20280
Fredericton, NB E3B 4Z7


Honorary Research Associate, Civil Engineering Department, University of New Brunswick, Canada

Research Associate, Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Canada

Research Associate, Research Center in Systems Ecology and Sustainability, University of Bucharest, Romania