BGS' scientists address a wide range of applied environmental questions related to sustainability of water resources, and the role of groundwater in the context of biodiversity, environmental hazards, and environmental change. Our work falls into ten broad research areas:
Water resources and groundwater
Regional and national studies and assessments of the status of groundwater resources, and quality with a focus on data synthesis and analysis, and on numerical modelling.
Groundwater quality and protection
Natural baseline chemistry of groundwater, diffuse agricultural pollution - particularly by nitrate and pesticides, point source pollution and contamination, in particular organic contaminants such as non-aqueous phase liquids.
Catchment- and site-based research into groundwater - surface water interaction, groundwater-fed wetlands, and nutrient cycling.
Groundwater and environmental change
Work includes reconstructing historic groundwater levels, modelling the impact of climate change scenarios on groundwater resources in the UK and in Africa, and assessing the impact of climate change on trends in water quality.
Understanding groundwater flooding mechanisms, national mapping of areas susceptible to groundwater flooding, numerical predictive models of groundwater flooding.
Groundwater ecology and biodiversity
Distribution and controls on groundwater animals, overview, microbiology of natural groundwater, groundwater and terrestrial biodiversity.
Groundwater and health
The impact of agriculture, the effects of industry, and the impacts of urbanisation in the developing world on human health.
International groundwater research
Groundwater and international development, assessments of groundwater resources, groundwater protection, resilience to climate change, integrated water resource management
Modelling groundwater systems
Distributed groundwater modelling (ZOOM suite), pumping test analysis tools, lumped parameter models, time series analysis tools.
Environmental tracers and groundwater dating
Dating and tracing using agents including CFCs, SF6, tritium, radiocarbon and stable isotopes, application to a wide range of hydrogeological and environmental problems.
Contact Dr Rob Ward for further information.