Key research questions introduction

The following research areas address the variety of challenges we face with respect to understanding and planning for the impacts of climate change and sustainability within the Thames basin.

Although these areas are largely geological they will become more multidisciplinary due to increasing involvement by external stakeholders and collaborators. In time this provides us with a more realistic view of the issues faced by the Thames basin and the science needed to tackle them.

We have begun work within each research area and at the bottom of each theme web page is a selection of research that has been carried out in order to help us define and answer these key environmental questions.

Sewer tunnel shaft, Claygate member, Brentwood, Essex Sustainable use of the subsurface

What are the environmental impacts of engineered aspects of the subsurface and an increased reliance on underground space?

Landslipped London Clay on the south bank of the River Chelmer at Maldon, Essex Ground stability and geohazards

How will the built environment be affected by physical changes to the geosphere caused by changing climate, and what are the implications for future engineering and geohazards?

Aerial views of flooding in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, July 2007 Flooding

How can the impacts of flooding on society, the economy and the environment be better understood? How can communication of flood potential to decision makers be improved?

Constantly changing land use due to redevelopment and regeneration. © Changing land use

How does land use change affect the health of the natural environment (biotic and abiotic)? How do people react to these changes? How does this impact on the quality of the services that it provides?

Aerial view of part of the Lea Valley reservoir chain, north London Water security

How will the effects of climate change impact on water security in the region? What are the implications on society and the environment?

Aerial view of the Thames Barrier. Aerial photography provided by Infoterra, © UKP Licence No. UKP2006/01. Protecting coastal communities and habitats

What challenges do waterfront communities and habitats face from environmental change? How can these challenges be met in a sustainable manner?

Sustainable use of the subsurface »