Upper Exe basin.

Impacts of climate change on erosion, sediment transport and soil carbon in the UK and Europe

This NERC funded project runs from 2007 to 2010. It is led by Vicky Bell (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) and involves a team from CEH, and the Universities of Exeter and Leeds. The main aim of the project is to develop and apply numerical models to quantify sediment and associated carbon fluxes through drainage basins and to evaluate the possible impacts on these fluxes of future climate change.

Work at Exeter led by Andrew Nicholas and Tim Quine is focused at both floodplain reach and catchment scales. At the reach scale we are developing a coupled model of overbank deposition of suspended sediment, floodplain reworking by channel migration, and carbon accumulation and decomposition (see above), in order to model the impacts on C sequestration of climate change (e.g., due to changes in floodplain hydrology and rates of floodplain construction).

At the catchment scale we are developing coarse-resolution parameterisations of these processes that are being coupled with models of soil erosion and sediment delivery to the channel network (developed at the University of Leeds) and catchment hydrology (developed at CEH Wallingford). These models are being applied to simulate present and future sediment and carbon fluxes, using climate change projections generated by the UK Hadley Centre.

Back to Andrew Nicholas research projects