Hydrogeology

Definition

Hydrogeology is the study of the movement and storage of water in the crust of Earth and other rocky planetary bodies. It maps and quantifies the water stored in underground aquifers and occasionally surface systems, identifies pathways of flow and recharge, and assesses the chemical composition and quality of the below-ground water.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Current global-scale nitrogen (N) budgets quantifying anthropogenic impacts on the N cycle do not explicitly consider nitrate storage in the vadose zone. Here, using estimates of depth to groundwater and nitrate leaching between 1900–2000, the authors show that the vadose zone is an important store of nitrate.

    • M. J. Ascott
    • , D. C. Gooddy
    • , L. Wang
    • , M. E. Stuart
    • , M. A. Lewis
    • , R. S. Ward
    •  & A. M. Binley
  • Research |

    Extreme temperatures and fluid pressures are measured, and their causes modelled, in a borehole into the Alpine Fault, where an earthquake rupture is expected within the next few decades.

    • Rupert Sutherland
    • , John Townend
    • , Virginia Toy
    • , Phaedra Upton
    • , Jamie Coussens
    • , Michael Allen
    • , Laura-May Baratin
    • , Nicolas Barth
    • , Leeza Becroft
    • , Carolin Boese
    • , Austin Boles
    • , Carolyn Boulton
    • , Neil G. R. Broderick
    • , Lucie Janku-Capova
    • , Brett M. Carpenter
    • , Bernard Célérier
    • , Calum Chamberlain
    • , Alan Cooper
    • , Ashley Coutts
    • , Simon Cox
    • , Lisa Craw
    • , Mai-Linh Doan
    • , Jennifer Eccles
    • , Dan Faulkner
    • , Jason Grieve
    • , Julia Grochowski
    • , Anton Gulley
    • , Arthur Hartog
    • , Jamie Howarth
    • , Katrina Jacobs
    • , Tamara Jeppson
    • , Naoki Kato
    • , Steven Keys
    • , Martina Kirilova
    • , Yusuke Kometani
    • , Rob Langridge
    • , Weiren Lin
    • , Timothy Little
    • , Adrienn Lukacs
    • , Deirdre Mallyon
    • , Elisabetta Mariani
    • , Cécile Massiot
    • , Loren Mathewson
    • , Ben Melosh
    • , Catriona Menzies
    • , Jo Moore
    • , Luiz Morales
    • , Chance Morgan
    • , Hiroshi Mori
    • , Andre Niemeijer
    • , Osamu Nishikawa
    • , David Prior
    • , Katrina Sauer
    • , Martha Savage
    • , Anja Schleicher
    • , Douglas R. Schmitt
    • , Norio Shigematsu
    • , Sam Taylor-Offord
    • , Damon Teagle
    • , Harold Tobin
    • , Robert Valdez
    • , Konrad Weaver
    • , Thomas Wiersberg
    • , Jack Williams
    • , Nick Woodman
    •  & Martin Zimmer
    Nature 546, 137–140

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    The terrestrial water cycle is often assessed annually at catchment scale. But water stored in catchments is poorly mixed, and at timescales often well beyond the calculation of annual water balance.

    • Jeffrey J. McDonnell
  • News and Views |

    Increasing groundwater extraction supports hundreds of millions of people across the Indo-Gangetic Basin. Data suggests that despite the increase in withdrawals, groundwater depletion is localized and the most widespread threat is contamination.

    • Scott Fendorf
    •  & Shawn G. Benner
    Nature Geoscience 9, 732–733
  • News and Views |

    The Sahel has suffered through severe droughts but recent years have seen increased rainfall. Now research suggests warming of the Mediterranean Sea surface may dictate future rainfall in the region.

    • Michela Biasutti
  • Editorial |

    Groundwater flow meddles with hydrological, environmental and geological processes. As water scarcity issues mount for people living above ground, the vast stores of freshwater in the subsurface require research attention.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Drought management is inefficient because feedbacks between drought and people are not fully understood. In this human-influenced era, we need to rethink the concept of drought to include the human role in mitigating and enhancing drought.

    • Anne F. Van Loon
    • , Tom Gleeson
    • , Julian Clark
    • , Albert I. J. M. Van Dijk
    • , Kerstin Stahl
    • , Jamie Hannaford
    • , Giuliano Di Baldassarre
    • , Adriaan J. Teuling
    • , Lena M. Tallaksen
    • , Remko Uijlenhoet
    • , David M. Hannah
    • , Justin Sheffield
    • , Mark Svoboda
    • , Boud Verbeiren
    • , Thorsten Wagener
    • , Sally Rangecroft
    • , Niko Wanders
    •  & Henny A. J. Van Lanen