Leonie Adriana Kiewiet

Leonie Adriana Kiewiet

PhD student

Hydrology and Climate

Tel.: 044 63 55232

Room number: Y25 L 90



Spatio-temporal variability in shallow groundwater and its effect on stream water quantity and quality

Project description

In my PhD project I investigate the spatio-temporal variability in shallow groundwater and its effect on stream water quantity and quality. Groundwater is important for streamflow: hydrograph separation analyses have shown that streamflow in undisturbed catchments consists predominantly of groundwater, even during large rainfall events. Groundwater is often assumed to be stable over time and space, but the variability of shallow groundwater chemistry can be large, and controls on it are poorly understood. A better understanding of its spatial and temporal distribution over the catchment can help us to better understand where runoff is generated during different hydrological conditions, and improve our estimations of uncertainty on prior analyses. 

I combine tracer-based approaches (i.e. isotopic composition and hydrochemical constituents) and hydrometric measurements to investigate where water is stored, and where water is released from the shallow subsurface aquifer. I am also interested in biogeochemical processes that underlie the composition of the soil and groundwater that we investigate. 

I aim to improve our understanding of spatial and temporal variability in shallow groundwater chemistry such that it can lead to a refined representation of the groundwater end-member in (time-dependent) source-area analyses, and thereby to more robust conclusions on relative contributions from different parts of the groundwater system to streamflow. 


Groundwater quality, isotopes, flushing frequency, pre-alpine catchments, runoff generation processes 

Project Leadership and Contacts

Dr. Ilja van Meerveld (ilja.vanmeerveld@geo.uzh.ch)
Prof. Dr. Jan Seibert (jan.seibert@geo.uzh.ch)

Duration of Project

From March 2016 to February 2019