Wednesday, 23 April 2014

March 2014 overview

Groundwater levels, March 2014
March was unusually typical! After several months of exceptional rainfall, rainfall totals for March were within the normal range at the national scale. Rainfall was, however, below average over swathes of England and Wales, north-eastern Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.

The groundwater recharge season has ended in many lowland areas, with hydrographs showing falling levels.  However, levels in the index wells remain within or above the normal range for the time of year.

Areas impacted by groundwater flooding are diminishing, however, it remains an issue in some areas, such as parts of Berkshire, south London, north Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

Hydrograph at Newbridge
(Permo-Triassic sandstone, south west Scotland)
Record monthly maximum levels were recorded in Skirwith and Newbridge boreholes (Permo-Triassic sandstones of north west England and south west Scotland) for the third successive month, though levels did peak during March.

For more information, see the Hydrological Summary for March 2014 [PDF].

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

BGS research recognised in the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment

Work initiated and funded by BGS through the Groundwater Science Directorate has been recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Research published by  Chris Jackson, Alan MacDonald, David Macdonald, George Darling, Brighid Ó Dochartaigh and Lou Maurice has just been cited in the Freshwater Resources chapter (Ch 3) of the Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5).

The Groundwater Science directorate continue to work on issues related to environmental change and groundwater resources and quality. For example, with work focussing on analysis of reconstructed groundwater levels, analysis of historic droughts (a NERC funded UK Droughts Programme project with a range of academic partners), and, along with CEH, analysis of the role of climate change as one of multiple stressors on water resources and ecosystem services across Europe with a case study focussing on the Thames Basin (the EU FP7 funded MARS project).

Montage of BGS Groundwater scientists cited in IPCC report

The papers cited are:
·         Jackson, C.R., R. Meister, and C. Prudhomme, 2011: Modelling the effects of climate change and its uncertainty on UK Chalk groundwater resources from an ensemble of global climate model projections. Journal of Hydrology, 399(1-2), 12-28
·         Guardiola-Albert, C. and C.R. Jackson, 2011: Potential Impacts of climate change on groundwater supplies to the Doñana wetland, Spain. Wetlands, 31(5), 907-920.
·         MacDonald, A.M., R.C. Calow, D.M.J. MacDonald, W.G. Darling, and B.É.Ó. Dochartaigh, 2009: What impact will climate change have on rural groundwater supplies in Africa? Hydrological Sciences Journal, 54(4), 690-703
·         Taylor, R.G., B. Scanlon, P. Döll, M. Rodell, R. van Beek, Y. Wada, L. Longuevergne, M. Leblanc, J.S. Famiglietti, M. Edmunds, L. Konikow, T.R. Green, J. Chen, M. Taniguchi, M.F.P. Bierkens, A. MacDonald, Y. Fan, R.M. Maxwell, Y. Yechieli, J.J. Gurdak, D.M. Allen, M. Shamsudduha, K. Hiscock, P.J.-F. Yeh, I. Holman, and H. Treidel, 2013a: Ground water and climate change. Nature Climate Change, 3(4), 322-329
·         Taylor, R.G., M.C. Todd, L. Kongola, L. Maurice, E. Nahozya, H. Sanga, and A.M. MacDonald, 2013b: Evidence of the dependence of groundwater resources on extreme rainfall in East Africa. Nature Climate Change, 3(4), 374-378.

Congratulations to everyone in BGS who has contributed to the IPCC reports.