Debbie White

BGS Wallingford

Debbie White’s Biography

  • 2007 –2011 : University of Newcastle upon Tyne, MSc Applied Hydrogeology
  • 2000 – ongoing : Hydrogeochemist at BGS Groundwater Wallingford
  • 1996 –2005 : The Open University, BSc(Hons) Geosciences

Research interests

  • Coastal sand dune hydrogeology and hydrogeochemistry.
  • Contaminant hydrochemistry.
  • Groundwater ecology in collaboration with CEH, Lee Knight (Hypogean Crustacea Recording Scheme) and Roehampton University.
  • Hydrochemical evolution of groundwaters. Groundwater residence time indicators.
  • The use of nitrate and phosphate isotopes to determine the origin of nutrients within a groundwater system.
  • Groundwater Ecology.

Current projects and collaborations

  • Collection and collation of information from historical BGS projects in Africa to make it accessible to future researchers.
  • Quantifying micro-organics contamination in groundwaters and surface waters in colaboration with NLS and GNS Science.
  • Tracing sources of nitrate within coastal sand dune systems including looking at the effect of removal of sea buckthorn in collaboration with GSNI and NIEA.

NERC Open Research Archive — Debbie Allen

Key papers

  • Allen, Debbie; Darling, W. George; Williams, Peter J.; Stratford, Charlie J.; Robins, Nick S. 2014. Understanding the hydrochemical evolution of a coastal dune system in SW England using a multiple tracer technique. Applied Geochemistry, 45. 94-104.
  • White, D.; Lapworth, D.J.; Civil, W; Williams, P.J..2019 Tracking changes in the occurrence and source of pharmaceuticals within the River Thames, UK; from source to sea. Environmental Pollution, 249, 257-266
  • White, D.; Lapworth, D.J.; Stuart, M.E.; Williams, P.J. 2016. Hydrochemical profiles in urban groundwater systems: new insights into contaminant sources and pathways in the subsurface from legacy and emerging contaminants. Science of the Total Environment, 562. 962-973.
  • White, Debbie; Lapworth, Dan J.; Civil, Wayne; Williams, Peter. 2019. Tracking changes in the occurrence and source of pharmaceuticals within the River Thames, UK: from source to sea. Environmental Pollution, 249. 257-266.
  • Lapworth, Dan J.; Gooddy, Daren C.; Kent, Flo; Heaton, Tim H.E.; Cole, Steven J.; Allen, Debbie. 2013. A combined geochemical and hydrological approach for understanding macronutrient sources. Journal of Hydrology, 500. 226-242.
  • Maurice, L.; Robertson, A.R.; White, D.; Knight, L.; Johns, T.; Edwards, F.; Arietti, M.; Sorensen, J.P.R.; Weitowitz, D.; Marchant, B.P.; Bloomfield, J.P. 2016. The invertebrate ecology of the Chalk aquifer in England (UK). Hydrogeology Journal, 24 (2). 459-474.
  • Rhymes, J.; Jones, L.; Lapworth, D.J.; White, D.; Fenner, N.; McDonald, J.E.; Perkins, T.L. 2015. Using chemical, microbial and fluorescence techniques to understand contaminant sources and pathways to wetlands in a conservation site. Science of the Total Environment, 511. 703-710.
  • Sorensen, James P.R.; Maurice, Louise; Edwards, Francois K.; Lapworth, Daniel J.; Read, Daniel S.; Allen, Debbie; Butcher, Andrew S.; Newbold, Lindsay K.; Townsend, Barry R.; Williams, Peter J. 2013. Using boreholes as windows into groundwater ecosytems. Plos One, 8 (7), e70264.
  • Darling, W. George; Gooddy, Daren C.; White, Debbie; Matsumoto, Takuya; Han, Liang-Feng; Romeo, Nicolo. 2017 Testing tritium-helium groundwater dating in the Chalk aquifer of the Berkshire Downs, UK. Geochemical Journal, 51 (5). 409-421.
  • Chambers, J.E.; Wilkinson, P.B.; Wealthall, G.P.; Loke, M.H.; Dearden, R.; Wilson, R.; Allen, D.; Ogilvy, R.D.. 2010 Hydrogeophysical imaging of deposit heterogeneity and groundwater chemistry changes during DNAPL source zone bioremediation. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 118 (1-2). 43-61.
  • Dearden, Rachel; Chambers, Jonathan; Allen, Debbie; Wealthall, Gary. 2010 Site investigation techniques for DNAPL source and plume zone characterisation. CL:aire Bulletin, Sabre (SAB2). 6, pp.
  • Lapworth, D.J.; Gooddy, D.C.; Allen, D.; Old, G.H. 2009 Understanding groundwater, surface water and hyporheic zone biogeochemical processes in a Chalk catchment using fluorescence properties of dissolved and colloidal organic matter. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, G00F02. 10, pp.


  • Field investigation design, site assessment, management and risk assessment. Interpretation of results.
  • Field investigation; including soils, unsaturated zone, groundwaters, surface waters and porewaters.
  • Groundwater ecology sampling and identification of target species of UK groundwater fauna.
  • Isotopic sample preparation.

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