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. 
In this project, we focus on understanding the various processes affecting groundwater-climate interactions. We primarily focus on groundwater feedback depending on soil characteristics under changing climate conditions. 

As a first analysis, we analyze the mode of coupling between groundwater and climate for the city of Hamburg, highlighting areas with a connected two-way interaction, which will be important in various hydrologic processes, sustainable water- and land management, and urban planning.  We aim to develop a simple analytical framework to identify potential regions with significant two-way (bidirectional) interactions using soil characteristics as an intermediate domain between the groundwater and climate systems. 

This project is a part of the Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society” (CLICCS), which aims to establish a long-term program spanning the range from basic research on climate dynamics and climate-related social dynamics to the transdisciplinary exploration of human–environment interactions. 

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