Pedro José Depetris

Lugar y fecha de nacimiento: Córdoba 04/10/1943

Fecha de designación: 17/07/1996

Fecha de incorporación: 08/12/1996

Titulo de disertación: El cambio climático global desde una perspectiva geológica

Disciplina de incorporación: Geología

Campo de la Ciencia – especialidad: Geoquímica de la superficie, Hidrología

Actas C. D. relacionadas: Designación como Académico

Pedro José Depetris obtained a degree with honors (Premio Universidad) in Geological Sciences (1965) at the Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (FCEFyN) of the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) (Córdoba, Argentina), where he later (1970) achieved a doctor’s degree in the same discipline. He was awarded scholarships by several institutions: The U.N. Development Program/Argentine Government (January – March, 1965); the Fulbright Commission (University of California, San Diego, U.S.A., 1966-1967), and Argentina’s Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICETScripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA, 1967-68). He completed research visits in the USA (Inter American Bank for Development/CONICET, at the University of Indiana, May-June, 1985); and at Universität Hamburg, Germany (DAAD, September – October, 1987, October, 1988); European Communities (September 1990 – March, 1991), and in the Institut für Biogeochemie und Meereschemie, Universität Hamburg (Germany’s BMFT, January 1991).

In 1972, he became a member of CONICET’s Carrera del Investigador Científico y Tecnológico as Adjunct Researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Limnología (INALI) in Santo Tomé (Santa Fe, Argentina). In 1976-86, he joined the Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química (INTEC) as CONICET’s Independent Researcher and became, as well, Associate Professor (1979 – 1986) at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Santa Fe, Argentina). Hired by the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) in 1986, he became a full tenured professor (1987), promoted later to full plenary professor (2007). Currently, he is emeritus professor of the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. At CONICET he reached the uppermost category of Investigador Superior, and was recently granted the Investigador Emérito (emeritus researcher) award.

He was the adviser of eight doctoral thesis and, additionally, co-tutored four more, all outstandingly concluded and defended. He has been a member of over a dozen doctoral committees in Argentina as well as abroad (Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France, Université Ibn Tofail, Kenitra, Morocco, Universitat de Girona, Spain). He has performed as invited lecturer in many national and international scientific meetings, in different academic institutions, such as Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany), the Centre de Geochimie de la Surface (CNRS), Strasbourg (France), the Institut für Biogeochemie und Meereschemie, Universität Hamburg (Germany), la Universidad de la República, Montevideo (Uruguay), and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mérida (México). In the USA, he was an invited speaker at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio), the University of Colorado, Boulder, (Colorado) and Georgia Southern University, Statesboro (Georgia).

At FCEFyN-UNC, he directed the Department of Chemistry between 1990 and 1992, and the Graduate School (Doctorate) in Geological Sciences (2001-2004).  He was acting director in the Centro Científico Tecnológico (CCT) CONICET Córdoba (2009 – 2011) and became its director between 2011 and 2013. He was founder and interim director of the Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra (CICTERRA), a CONICET-UNC joint research unit, of which he was its Acting Director until December 2013. At the University of Córdoba, he also was director of the Centro de Investigaciones Geoquímicas y de Procesos de la Superficie (CIGES), which he contributed to create in 1999. In different capacities, he was member of advising or evaluating committees, in Argentina, in neighboring countries (Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay) or in Europe  (France’s IRD, Institute de Recherche pour le Développment, ex ORSTOM). In Argentina’s CONICET, he was a member of several advising Earth Sciences committees, and of the Junta de Calificación y Promoción, as member (2003), as Acting Coordinator (2004), and as Coordinator (2005). He was Acting Coordinator (2013) and Coordinator (2014) in the ad hoc Commission for the promotion to senior researcher status (Investigadores Superiores) in the area of Exact and Natural Sciences.

Besides participating and directing numerous research projects in Argentina, he co-directed the PARAT Project for several years, financed by the European Communities. He has been project co-leader of Project 459 in the International Geological Correlation Programme (UNESCO’s IGCP), “Carbon Cycle and Hydrology in the Paleoterrestrial Environment”. Likewise, he was Associate Member and Full Member in SCOR (Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research), /LOICZ/IAPSO Working Group 122 on Mechanisms of Sediment Retention in Estuaries. He was appointed Chairperson of the Scientific Committee Advisory Board, 18th International Sedimentological Congress (IAS, Mendoza, Argentina), September 26 –  October 1st, 2010.

For many years now, he has been Associate Editor in Elsevier’s Journal of Hydrology, endowed with the 2015 Associate Editor Award. Furthermore, he is a member of the Editorial Board of Springer’s Sustainable Water Resources Management.

His scientific interests are oriented toward the Earth’s exogenous processes, including the hydrological aspects of climatic change. He has mainly worked on riverine hydrological dynamics and low-temperature geochemical processes (i.e., chemical reactions occurring in drainage basins and their biogeochemical signature). Has published over one hundred and thirty scientific papers, including refereed papers, parts or chapters of books, and full papers published in proceedings of national or international congresses. His work has received about 3200 citations and has a total h index of 28. His current i10 index is 58 (Google Scholar). The most cited contributions are:

Gaiero, D.M., Probst, J.-L., Depetris, P.J., Bidart, S., Leleyter, L. (2003). Iron and other transition metals in Patagonian riverborne and windborne materials: geochemical control and transport to the southern South Atlantic Ocean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 67 (19), 3603-3623 (197 citations).

Pasquini, A.I., Depetris, P.J. (2007). Discharge trends and flow dynamics of South American rivers draining the southern Atlantic seaboard: An overview. Journal of Hydrology, 333 (2-4), 385-399 (158 citations).

Depetris, P.J., Kempe, S. (1993). Carbon dynamics and sources in the Paraná River. Limnology and Oceanography, 38 (2), 382-395 (137 citations).

He has coauthored/coedited the following books:

a) Potter, P.E., Maynard, B.J., Depetris, P.J., 2005. Mud and Mudstones. Introduction and OverviewSpringer, Heidelberg, 295 p. (ISBN 3-540-22157-3);

b) Depetris, P.J., Pasquini, A.I., Lecomte, K.L., 2014. Weathering and the Riverine Denudation of Continents. Springer Briefs in Earth System Science, 95 p. (ISBN 978-94-007-7717-0).

c) Ittekkot, V., Schäfer, P., Honjo, S., Depetris, P.J.,, 1996, Particle Flux in the Ocean.SCOPE Series, J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 372 p. (ISBN 0-471-96073-x).

The most recent publications are:

  • Torres, A.I., Andrade, C.F., Moore, W.S., Faleschini, M., Esteves, J.L., Niencheski, L.F.H., Depetris, P.J., 2018. Ra and Rn isotopes as natural tracers of submarine groundwater discharge in the Patagonian coastal zone (Argentina): an initial assessment. Environmental Earth Sciences, DOI 10.1007/S12665-018-7308-7;
  • Depetris, P.J., 2018. Fresh Water Geochemistry, Overview. R.A. Meyers (ed), Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology.Springer Science.
  • Campodonico, V.A., Pasquini, A.I., Lecomte, K.L., García, M.G., Depetris, P.J., 2019. Chemical weathering in subtropical basalt-derived laterites: A mass balance interpretation (Misiones, NE Argentina). Catena173, 352-366.
  • Depetris, P.J. 2021. Revisiting the effect of extreme flooding on the chemistry of a large floodplain river: the example of Argentina’s middle Paraná. Environmental Earth Sciences,

For over twenty years now, he has also been interested in the history of science, in general, and the functions performed by Argentina’s Academia Nacional de Ciencias, as one Argentina’s early science promoters, in particular. In such role, he has recently contributed to the publication of:

Depetris, P.J. (Ed.), 2019. La Academia Nacional de Ciencias: 150 años acompañando la ciencia argentina. Academia Nacional de Ciencias, Córdoba, 400 pp (ISBN 978-987-46127-2-4). 

Acknowledging his scientific career, Argentina’s Academia Nacional de Ciencias ( appointed him as Academician in 1996. He has been a member of the Steering Committee (S.C.) as Pro-Secretary (2000-2004), Secretary (2004-2008, and 2008-2012), and Vice-president (2012-2016). Currently, he is a member of ANC’s S.C. Representing Argentina’s Academia Nacional de Ciencias, he is a focal point in the Water Program of IANAS (Inter American Network of Academies of Sciences). He was distinguished as Corresponding Member by Argentina’s Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales ( in 2008. More recently, in 2018, was elected as full member by the Academia de Ciencias de América Latina, ACAL, (

He was awarded the 2006 Interciencia Award by the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Association Francophone pour le Savoir. Recognizing the contributions made in the promotion of the Earth Sciences in Argentina and the region, he was elected Honorary Member by the Asociación Argentina de Sedimentología (2006), and the Asociación Geológica Argentina (2010), Similarly, the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales) conferred in 2014 the Pellegrino Strobel award, also acknowledging a lifetime dedicated to the study of Earth system science.


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