Fundamental Research

CER faculty, research associates, and students participate in fundamental research based on our three investigative pillars: Computer simulations, experimental investigations in the CER Stream Laboratory, and though field studies. Fundamental research areas include:

• Gaining a mechanistic understanding of sediment transport, river morphology, channel erosion, and hillslope processes. In particular, we investigate the interactions between flow turbulence, sediment transport, hillslope sediment supply, and river morphology using modeling, and field and laboratory experiments. This knowledge is then used to improve predictions of flow and sediment flux throughout river systems.

• Surface-subsurface water interaction (the hyporheic zone) and its implications for ecosystems and water quality. How do these interactions affect nutrient cycles, in-stream self-cleaning processes, which answer both engineering needs and ecological questions on how to manage and protect water resources? This exchange is extremely important in water management because water quality in one system is affected by the other via the hyporheic zone.

• Development and improvement of advanced measurement methods for velocity, turbulence, temperature, and species concentration fields in the water column and in the hyporheic zone.