Meet Charalampos Ntigkakis

Academic and Industrial affiliations: Newcastle University
Title of research project: Groundwater modelling to simulate groundwater/surface water interactions

Groundwater flooding is a term used to describe the emergence of groundwater at the ground surface or manmade subsurface structures, away from any surface water bodies. Especially for urban areas, groundwater flooding can cause significant economic and social disruptions and therefore can play a major role in determining the water resilience of urban areas. Subsurface infrastructure is particularly at risk, as the effects of groundwater flooding in these assets can occur long before the water breaks the ground surface. Ultimately, groundwater flooding can be described as part of a wider water management problem and modelling the interactions between groundwater and surface water is key to understanding the risks that groundwater flooding poses to flood resilience.

This project will apply script-based groundwater flow models to appraise model performance, as well as urban conceptual model design to quantify water store fluxes within an urban groundwater system. It will develop a framework that will allow the assimilation of remotely sensed information into urban groundwater. It will also take advantage of recent modelling developments that allow for more flexibility and thus the application of more advanced calibration and validation techniques. Given the special complexity of urban environments, the assimilation of remotely sensed data will allow to spatially constrain recharge patterns to drive groundwater flow paths. This, combined with advanced calibration and validation approaches, will allow the identification of areas prone to groundwater flooding. The output of this project could then be used to better inform water management decisions in terms of groundwater flooding protection.