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My PhD research focuses on understanding surface water-groundwater interactions in drylands. More specifically: how does superificial geological structure control groundwater recharge processes in drylands? Can we conceptualise and quantify these processes? How will climate change and human activity alter these dynamics?


Research interests

  • Hydrogeology

  • Geophysics

  • Drylands

  • Groundwater recharge

  • Geomorphology


Quantifying The Role Of Superficial Geology In Controlling Groundwater Recharge In Drylands And Its Sensitivity To Environmental Change

Drylands (semi-arid/arid regions) represent >35% of the earths surface, support a population of around 2 billion people, and are forecast to be increasingly water stressed in coming decades. Groundwater is the most reliable source of water in drylands, but the spatio-temporal controls on the rates of groundwater recharge are poorly resolved. Superficial geology is a fundamental control on surface and groundwater interactions, however little work has been carried out to understand these process, making it difficult to forecast recharge in drylands with variable geology.

Using a range of geophysical methods and existing hydrological records, this project aims to understand the role of superficial geology in governing the timing, magnitude and spatial distribution of groundwater recharge, as well as its sensitivity to environmental change

Funding source

NERC GW4 DTP, British Geological Survey



Dr Mark Cuthbert

Reader in Environmental Geoscience