November 24, 2022

Ankita Bhattacharya

Photo of Ankita Bhattacharya

PhD: The influence of groundwater and soil conditions on future flood risk of UK estuaries

Location: British Geological Survey, Nottingham

University: School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor university



I completed my 3-years M.ScTech (Applied Geology) in 2015 from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad and was recipient of the university silver medal. The very same year I scored an All India Rank- 1st in the entrance exam for Geological Survey of India and got appointed as a hydrogeologist in the groundwater wing of the Indian government. During my professional journey of 6 years in the water industry I was engaged in groundwater exploration, aquifer mapping, resource estimation and groundwater modelling. I had also conducted special studies on coastal hydrogeology in the Indo-Gangetic basin and hillslope hydrology and spring studies in the Lesser Himalayas. Through my field exposure I have witnessed the different types of challenges associated with different hydrogeological settings that fueled my interest in studying the hydrology in other parts of the world.

 Flood risk is changing worldwide and is closely associated with population, socioeconomic growth, and climate change. Lower catchments and estuaries are particularly vulnerable because land value is high and susceptible to flooding from compounding extremes: sea-levels, precipitation, river flows and groundwater. Through my PhD I aim to look at the role of groundwater and soil moisture conditions towards the future flood risk in the UK. I will also try to explore what antecedent weather conditions worsen estuarine flooding, such as back-to-back storms and whether the flood risk will change in a warming and more seasonal climate. By the end of my PhD, I aim to develop catchment-groundwater-marine models that can be validated with high-resolution historical precipitation, river discharge and groundwater data. My research will primarily focus on the UK catchments, but I also aim to expand my study and apply my results on similar catchments in other parts of the world.

Having access to the variety of trainings and resources that ENVISION provides will greatly benefit my research and will allow me to be part of a community of other doctoral researchers that I otherwise would not have. Being based at the British Geological Survey allows me to conduct my research alongside world-leading experts, enhancing my skills and knowledge. This will enable me to further my career within the environmental science discipline, either in an academic research setting or in the industry.

You can connect with me through LinkedIn/Email as its always great to connect with fellow researchers.