Title of PhD: Securing Resilient Public Water Supply from Groundwater Resources at Transient Risk from Uncertain DNAPL Chlorinated Solvent Contamination
Supervisors: Dr Mike Rivett, Dr Alan Herbert, Professor David Lerner (University of Sheffield), Matilda Beatty (Severn Trent Water Ltd.), Tim Besien (Environment Agency)
Christopher’s PhD is a NERC PhD, CASE studentship, supported by Severn Trent Water Ltd. And the Environment Agency.
Christopher’s research is concerned with time-variant groundwater flow and risks posed by contaminants in urban aquifer systems to wells drawing groundwater. In particular, he is investigating the behavior of contaminants leached from dense, insoluble substances (known as DNAPLs) which were extensively used by industry in the mid-twentieth century and which are now known to persist in the subsurface for decades. The goal is to develop a computer-coded methodology which numerically predicts a zone from which a well draws water and therefore contaminant migration from known source locations. To be used reliably, the model must account for time-variant processes, such as changes in groundwater flow patterns and changes in DNAPL distribution and dissolution in the subsurface with time. Wells with observed time-variance in contaminant concentrations will be studied to calibrate and evaluate the model.