My research focuses on surface water flow generation and its interaction with the land surface at a variety of time and space scales. My work is both theoretical and applied and involves field, experimental, analytical and modelling components. The various strands of my research can be summarised as follows:
Hillslope hydrology and sediment transport: The action of running water is undoubtedly one of the most important drivers of landscape change globally which is directly coupled to climate. Hillslope sediment supply to valley floors remains poorly constrained because it is episodic and spatially variable within basins and is controlled by the interplay between hillslope characteristics and climatic forcing. I have been investigating the theoretical relationships between sediment flux and hillslope attributes in runoff-dominated systems and I have developed a numerical model based on first principles which couples rainfall-runoff generation to a sediment transport of mixed sediment sizes which I use to investigate the relationship between rainfall, runoff, hillslope attributes and sediment flux to the slope base and the impact on river channel characteristics.
Dryland hydrology and geomorphology: I am interested in the way dryland basins respond to rainstorms in the short term and in the way they evolve morphologically in the long-term. I have been exploring the impact of longitudinal hillslope sediment supply (flux and grain size distribution) on fluvial response and bed material grain-size distributions and combining numerical modelling and field investigations to understand the role of hillslope runoff and sediment supply on channel sediment dynamics. My ultimate goal is to develop theory and numerical modelling capability to understand dryland basin evolution in response to climatic changes.
Fate and transport of dissolved and sediment-bound constituents: Erosion is a globally significant problem with implications for soil fertility and off-site pollution. My interests in hydrology and sediment transport processes, have led to a number of fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations with biogeochemists and soil scientists with whom I work on to investigate the fate and transport of organic matter, nutrients and pesticides by flow- and erosion-driven processes. This work has attracted funding from industry, particularly large regional water companies, who are facing increasing challenges in managing water resources and want to understand the residence times of pesticides/fertilizers in soils and the timescales for their transport to drinking-water reservoirs or groundwater through leaching, runoff and erosion processes. I work in agricultural settings and dryland ecosystems and have been investigating the relative roles of runoff and erosion on nutrient transport. I setup and manage a large-scale experimental hillslope facility (TRACE) which I have been using to develop novel sediment tracing techniques and to test hypotheses on biogeochemical fate and transport under controlled conditions.
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Dr Michaelides currently teaches 1 courses:
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