United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of our goals and mission, especially UN SDGs 2, 4, 6,13, 15, 17.

Modes of interaction and varying feedback between groundwater and climate

Climate–groundwater interactions play a vital role in the water cycle. This climate–groundwater interaction might be uni-or bidirectional (two-way) depending on climate and soil characteristics. In areas with bidirectional coupling, not only is the groundwater influenced by the climate (e.g., through precipitation), but it can also contribute to the climate by various feedback from groundwater-subsurface interactions, including impacts on evaporation, soil moisture, and vegetation. These feedbacks become more important in the face of climate change and climate variability, which can significantly impact the local urban climate. [Click here for more information]

Analytical prediction of extreme land surface temperatures

The increase in land surface temperature (LST) in a warming world affects climatological, hydrological, and ecological processes ranging from ecosystem and biome vulnerability to occurrence and extent of extreme climate events such as heatwaves and wildfires. Unprecedently high LSTs exceeding 80 oC have been recorded in some regions of the world in recent years limiting habitability of these regions in certain conditions. We aim to develop physically-based analytical models capable of predicting the location and magnitude of extreme temperatures on a global scale under different climate scenarios. [Click here for more information]   

Predicting evaporation from lakes across different climatic zones

Accurate prediction of the evaporative fluxes from lakes are crucial to a wide range of hydrological and environmental processes. It plays a central role in shaping aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity and is a key component affecting terrestrial mass and energy fluxes. Evaporation from lakes is influenced by the lake’s characteristics and the climatic parameters. Accurate prediction of the evaporation from lakes is a grand challenge due to the complex coupling between atmospheric conditions and the inherent characteristics of lakes (e.g. depth, radiation attenuation). [Click here for more information]

Toward predicting groundwater recharge under a changing climate

Groundwater is the largest freshwater storage in the world. Its quantity and quality are hence of importance for ecosystems and humans. Its annual renewal potential plays an important role when quantifying (future) available water resources and provides us with a basis for future decision making in water resource management. However, groundwater recharge cannot be measured directly, and several methods have been applied in the past, trying to summarize the complex processes. We are developing quantitative tools capable of predicting groundwater recharge on a global scale under a changing climate. [Click here for more information]

Saltwater intrusion: A growing threat to soil health

With ongoing climate change, the global mean sea level is projected to rise and accelerate. This exposes coastal areas to hazards ranging from enhanced flooding and erosion to salinization of soils, groundwater and surface waters. In estuaries such as the Elbe estuary, the effects of climate change driven sea level rise (SLR) can propagate several dozens of kilometres upstream. Due to its higher density in comparison to freshwater, saline water along coasts and estuaries flows landward under the less dense freshwater until reaching equilibrium. With increasing sea level, this saltwater interface can shift landwards reducing the thickness of the freshwater layer on top. One of the less understood effects of such phenomenon is the transport of saline through the unsaturated zone and to the surface adversely affecting soil health. [Click here for more information]

Soil Salinization on a Global Scale

Soil salinization refers to the excessive accumulation of soluble salts in soil to a degree that adversely influences vegetation and environmental health. Soil salinization poses an existential threat to ecosystem functioning, socioeconomic structure and food security. The excess accumulation of salt in soil is a global problem and is one of the main land-degrading threats influencing soil fertility and biodiversity. High salinity in the root zone severely impedes plant growth resulting in reduced crop productivity. Moreover, salt stress in salt-affected soils may cause a drastic reduction of plant transpiration influencing soil water budget and hydrologic cycle. [Click here for more information]

Land Cover Change and Climate Variability on a Global Scale

According to Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, an increase in the occurrence of extreme climate events such as droughts, heavy rainfalls and heat waves has been observed in recent years. This has devastating environmental and socio-economic effects. One of the possible contributors to this increase in occurrence of extreme events is the change of land cover, which influences the exchange of energy, water and CO2 between the terrestrial biosphere system and the atmosphere. [Click here for more information]

Soil Water Evaporation Dynamics

Evaporation from porous media is of significant importance in many fields ranging from hydrology and agriculture, to food sciences and engineering applications. In particular, we are interested in the analysis of water evaporation from soil under a given boundary condition. Soil water evaporation involves coupled heat and mass flow and depends on the transport properties of soil and the external atmospheric conditions. We are interested in the investigation of water evaporation dynamics from porous media taking into account the complex interaction between transport properties of porous media and external boundary conditions. [Click here for more information]

Solute Transport in Porous Media

Understanding solute transport in drying porous media plays an important role in a variety of processes including soil salinization, durability of building materials, and preservation of arts and monuments. During drying of porous media filled with saline solution, solutes are transported to the vaporization plane via capillary-induced liquid flow, while diffusion tends to homogenize the concentration laterally throughout the pore space. The interaction between the two determines the dynamics of solute distribution in porous media. [Click here for more information]

Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow in Porous Media

In the process of immiscible displacement of a receding fluid by an invading fluid in a porous medium, one or more pores may be bypassed by the invading fluid as it advances into the medium, leaving behind some disconnected or isolated fluid clusters trapped in the porous medium. Knowledge of the morphology, distribution and mobilization of the trapped fluid under a given boundary condition is required in many applications such as enhanced oil recovery or designing efficient remediation schemes for contaminated soils. [Click here for more information]