Catchment processes

A field of lettuces in the UK

Recognising that hydrological, soil and biological processes are interlinked and interdependent, our research programme uses catchment-based studies to improve our understanding of environmental processes.

As part of our catchment studies, the BGS helps to maintain a number of observatories, including sites in the Berkshire Downs, Oxfordshire and the Eden, Cumbria.

The BGS is also a member of the NERC Virtual Observatories initiative.

Groundwater–surface water interaction

An ongoing study is looking in detail at the physical and chemical processes involved in the movement of groundwater to streams whilst increasing our understanding of the geological controls on these processes.

Catchment processes case studies

Catchment care

CatchmentCARE (Community Actions for Resilient Eco-systems) is an EU-funded project that aims to improve freshwater quality in cross-border river basins across three cross-border catchments. The aims will be achieved through development of three water quality improvement projects in the Finn, Blackwater and Arney catchments and installation 50 boreholes across the region.

Catchment CARE logo

The aims of the groundwater package is to:

  • better understand the role of groundwater in the cross-border catchments.
  • raise awareness within rural communities of the role of groundwater in catchments and the impact of land-use activities on groundwater resources meeting the requirements of the WFD in ensuring sustainable groundwater resources and help provide the evidence base for WFD characterisation and measures.
  • develop of groundwater policy within the EU.

Groundwater recharge

Groundwater recharge processes have been the focus of significant research effort over the last few years, including, most recently, the studies of recharge through drift and groundwater nitrate in the Eden Valley, Cumbria.

Controls on groundwater flooding

In order to help develop appropriate flood risk management measures, BGS staff are investigating the controls on groundwater flooding at the catchment scale at a number of sites including work in Brighton, Oxford and Forres.


Contact Dr Daren Gooddy for further information.