Catchment Processes

Our Research

The CCRG investigates global issues, such as climate change, human activity, land-use, and fire, and the implications to catchment processes including changes in vegetation, soil dynamics, water resources, and ecosystem health. 

Fire impacts on the environment 

Dr Beck and colleagues are interested in how fire is related to long-term climate change and how fire impacts our catchments, carbon stability, and aquatic ecosystems. Their work stretches from Australia to the UK. Dr Beck is investigating how terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems are impacted by climate in Tasmania, Australia.

Terrestrial-aquatic ecosystem interactions 

The interaction between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are key to catchment processes. Therefore, it is important to understand how terrestrial-aquatic ecosystem interactions are altered over time and by external forces such as climate and people.  

Changing land use and catchment management 

Land use and land use change in river catchments are important drivers for change both catchment and coastal processes. Deforestation or reforestation of the river catchments, for example, have implications for the geomorphological development of rivers and coastal landforms such as estuaries and deltas. Increasingly, catchment management strategies are designed to enhance riverine habitat quality and reduce fluvial flood risk.  

As part of her PhD research, Miyo Yoshiaki models how land use changes and common catchment management strategies impact on the delivery of fluvial sediment into estuaries and how they impact on long-term estuarine flood risks. 

Agriculture and catchment processes 

Managing river catchments to either reduce fluvial flood risks, enhance the value of natural habitats or improve water quality frequently involves modifying the function and use of agricultural soils and understanding how agricultural soils interact with fluvial and coastal systems.  

CCRG collaborates with the UoL Soils Research Group to develop and in-depth understanding these processes, interactions and management implications. 

Sediment dynamics in river catchments 

Catchments deliver water but also sediments to the river network, and this determines fluvial processes. The magnitude, timing and type of sediments delivered to rivers depend on the location, extent, type and degree of connectivity of sediment sources at the scale of catchment, and on their changes over time due to the occurrence of natural or anthropogenic disturbances. Dr. Luca Mao investigates these processes in Andean and Alpine high gradient streams using a range of methods ranging from remote sensing, the use of drones to survey sediment sources areas, and the monitoring of sediment transport in rivers.