Hydrology & Water Resources
The Department of Earth Sciences offers a focus in Hydrology and Water Resources that builds upon faculty strengths in the physical, chemical and human aspects of the hydrologic cycle. Our specialties include hydrogeology, large river ecohydrology, aqueous geochemistry, hydrologic and hydrogeologic modeling, and water resource management, including water budget analysis, international river and watershed management, inter-basin water transfer, and water uses. Our proximity to the Mississippi River contributes to our expertise in large river hydrology and enables international collaboration on water resource management and issues related to large river systems. The location of Memphis in the Mississippi embayment, with its exceptional high-quality aquifers, provides excellent urban and natural laboratories for hydrologic and hydrogeologic research, particularly given our close collaboration with the Center for Applied Earth Sciences and Engineering Research (CAESER), housed in the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis. Our research efforts are commonly engaged in the community, emphasizing urban and agricultural applications towards sustainability and vulnerability of water supplies. Recent studies have investigated recharge to our public water supply aquifer and evaluating contamination of groundwater near a closed landfill. Courses in hydrology are offered through the departments of Engineering and Earth Sciences, and include Field Methods in Hydrology, Physical Hydrology, Aqueous Geochemistry, Seminar in Water Resources, Groundwater Quality and Control, Remote Sensing, GIS, and Environmental Hazards, among others. Faculty and researchers involved in the Hydrology and Water Resources focus also include members of the Biology Department, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Center for Earthquake Research and Information.