Our research in geomorphology spans soil erosion, hillslope and river sediment flux, peatland processes and 3D landscape evolution modelling. We predominantly work in upland environments in the UK and arctic/alpine river catchments worldwide.

Upland and alpine environments are vulnerable to climate change and under pressure from intensive human activity, such as land management practices and water resource management. However, these environments also offer important ecosystems services and can be impacted by severe natural hazards. They are a target environment for natural flood management practices.

We are making quantitative, systematic and regional assessments of water, sediment and solute sources, pathways and sinks, and of landform composition and functioning. We aim to understand the processes driving changes and also the linkages between system components, and we assess component sensitivity and resilience to change. We use emerging datasets and analytical methods to cover a wide range of spatial scales from individual sediment fragments up to entire river systems and their catchments. We employ numerical modelling to understand processes, to interpret observations and to predict beyond our observations.

Our peatland research includes assessments of soil erosion and transport at the peat surface as well as in sub-surface cavities known as pipes. We also have expertise in studying sediment transport through river systems using in-situ sensors, water samplers and through the development of models such as PESERA.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of geomorphology research in more detail please contact Dr Mark Smith

Other members of the research group

Dr Jonathan Carrivick, Professor Joseph Holden, Dr Brian Irvine, Professor Mike Kirkby, Dr Megan Klaar