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Surface Hydrologic Processes News Archive


Research published in the journal Nature on May 19 has revealed that vast regions of the Totten Glacier in East Antarctica are fundamentally unstable and have contributed significantly to rising sea levels several times in the past. Totten Glacier is the most rapidly thinning glacier in East Antarctica, and this study raises concerns that a…

Chemical weathering can control how susceptible bedrock in river beds is to erosion, according to new research.  In addition to explaining how climate can influence landscape erosion rates, the results also may improve scientists’ ability to interpret and predict feedbacks between erosion, plate tectonics and Earth’s climate. The research, led by The University of Texas…

Although years of drought and over-pumping have significantly depleted groundwater in Arizona and California, a new study shows the situation has an upside: It has created underground reservoirs where extra surface water can be stored during wet times so it is available during drought. The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in March,…

Scientists have created the first map that shows how the Greenland Ice Sheet has moved over time, revealing that ice in the interior is moving more slowly toward the edges than it has, on average, during the past 9,000 years. The findings, which researchers said don’t change the fact that the ice sheet is losing…

Researchers have found that the water supply of the Colorado River basin, one of the most important sources for water in the southwestern United States, is influenced more by wet-dry periods than by human use, which has been fairly stable during the past few decades. The study, led by The University of Texas at Austin,…

Researchers for the first time have used seismic sensors to track meltwater flowing through glaciers and into the ocean, an essential step to understanding the future of the world’s largest glaciers as climate changes. The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) helped pioneer this new method on glaciers in Greenland and Alaska. The study…

Researchers have found that parts of the western Solomon Islands, a region thought to be free of large earthquakes until an 8.1 magnitude quake devastated the area in 2007, have a long history of big seismic events. The findings, published online in Nature Communications on Tuesday, suggest that future large earthquakes will occur, but predicting…

In research of significance to the world’s expanding coastal populations, scientists have found that geology and infrastructure play key roles in determining whether aquifers that provide drinking water are inundated with seawater during a typhoon or hurricane and how long the contamination lasts. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people…

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) in the Jackson School of Geosciences have discovered two seafloor gateways that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica’s largest and most rapidly thinning glacier. The discovery, reported in the March 16 edition of the journal…

The Q&A: Todd Caldwell

With each issue, Trib+Water brings you an interview with experts on water-related issues. Here is this week’s subject: Todd Caldwell is a hydrologist and geoscientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in field investigations and numerical modeling associated with soil and vadose zone processes and its…

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