Sea-level rise, groundwater dynamics and impacts on infrastructure systems.
My origins are in the south of France between Albi where I was born, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, and I love fossil hunting in the Occitany Region. I studied water resources management at the University of Montpellier during my Master’s degree in geoscience, then came to New Zealand where I specialise in groundwater numerical modelling to characterise flow and transport processes. Since 2006 she has been working in hydrogeological studies in New Zealand, Australia and some Pacific Islands. Her focus is on coastal groundwater systems and saltwater intrusions.
Outside my studies and consulting work, in my free time, I enjoy a day at the beach especially if the ocean is warm, biking, kayaking and exploring Banks Peninsula that I think is the most beautiful scenery close to my new home in Christchurch.
Climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) is an imminent threat to low-lying coastal cities and settlements, increasing the global risk exposure including population, infrastructure and natural resources. Coastal urban areas are projected to experience more extreme water levels such as major coastal flooding and might not be able to cope unless adaptation measures are implemented. Rising sea level induces a rise in groundwater levels, and affects groundwater quality by increasing salinity stress on brackish and freshwater systems. With rising water levels, groundwater interactions with coastal subsurface drainage systems will change, and infrastructure networks subjected to increasing submergence and infiltration. My research focuses on the horizontal infrastructure networks and sits within the Built Environments programme of Resilience to Nature’s Challenges. The effects of SLR on groundwater will expose these urban areas to unprecedented hazards this century and beyond.
My research led me into understanding the impacts of SLR on coastal shallow groundwater and in particular the interactions with infrastructure systems in urban environments. I used Christchurch City’s large shallow groundwater monitoring network to characterise the water table variations in the recent years and highlight the influences on water levels such as the drainage network, the local geomorphology and human activities.
My future plan is to develop models to assess the current and future variations of water levels at the water table with ageing or replaced infrastructure and SLR. Coastal hazards related to groundwater include salinization of the freshwater above and below the land surface and groundwater flooding.