Research in the Hydrogeology Group at UMass-Lowell is centered on groundwater-surface water exchanges and groundwater resources along the land-sea margin. We integrate physical sciences (hydrology, coastal ocean processes, climate science) to investigate saltwater intrusion into aquifers, coupled human-natural coastline systems, coastal water resources, and aquifer biogeochemistry. We are currently exploring interactions between groundwater and waves, tides, currents, and sea level rise through field experimentation, numerical flow and reactive transport models, and quantitative synthesis of large datasets.

Undergraduate and graduate students interested in coastal hydrogeology are encouraged to contact for available research opportunities. Graduate studies are available through MS and PhD programs in the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences and the University of Massachusetts Intercampus Marine Science Program.


December 2023 We were in San Francisco, CA at the Annual AGU Meeting presenting our research on coastal watersheds and convection in beach aquifers.

October 2023 Students in GEOL4260/5260 Lab and Field Methods in Hydrogeology went on a field trip to Stony Brook in Westford, MA to measure stream discharge.

July 2023 James Heiss is co-convening a session titled Outcomes from Storm-Focused Multi-Disciplinary Large-Scale Experiments at the next Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, LA, with colleagues from the USGS, Army Corps of Engineers, and George Mason University. We hope to see you there!

April 2023 See our recently published paper in the Journal of Hydrology on saltwater-freshwater mixing and groundwater discharge in mangroves.

May 2023 James Heiss and graduate students Ola Olorunsaye, Madelaine Griesel, and Asim Roy led a field trip to Plum Island, MA for GEOL3140 Hydrogeology. Students measured groundwater discharge into the ocean, installed and sampled wells, surveyed a beach profile, and more. Great job everyone!

March 2023 See our recently published paper in the Journal of Hydrology on sedimentary organic matter distribution, production, and transformation along a land-sea gradient.

December 2022 See our recently published paper in Water Resources Research on the effects of tidal flooding on coastal aquifers.

Ocrober 2022 Graduate student Ola Olorunsaye traveled to the Geological Society of America conference in Denver, CO to present his research on the effects of geologic heterogeneity on salt transport in beach aquifers. While in Denver, Ola was selected for an award for Outstanding Research in Hydrogeology by the Hydrogeology Division, and recieved a GSA Outstanding Mention for his graduate student research grant proposal.

September 2022 Graduate students Asim Roy and Madelaine Griesel joined the group. Welcome Asim and Madelaine!

June 2022 Graduate student Ola Olorunsaye was awarded a GSA Graduate Student Research Grant. Congrats, Ola!

April 2022 We were in the field in Duck, NC extracting wells from the intertidal zone.

April 2022 See our recently published paper in Frontiers in Marine Science on seasonal and spatial production patterns of dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity in a shallow beach aquifer.

Apil 2022 We established the outdoor Merrimack River Hydrogeology Instructional Lab on the UML campus! UMass Lowell now has teaching wells on North and South Campus. Students in GEOL3140 Hydrogeology joined in on the drilling action, learning about well drilling techniques, sediment coring, and hydrological sampling. Thanks to Daniel Bronson at Bronson Drilling for a lesson on well drilling.

December 2021 See graduate student Clara Cogswell's recently published paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences on climate and seasonal temperature controls on biogeochemical cycling in coastal aquifers.

September 2021 Olasunkanmi Olorunsaye joined the Hydro Group. Welcome!

September 2021 See our recently published paper in Earth-Science Reviews on geochemical fluxes in sandy beach aquifers.

August 2021 We were on the Outer Banks in Duck, NC installing wells and instruments in the beach.

July 2021 Graduate student Clara Cogswell defended her MS thesis titled Climate and Seasonal Temperature Controls on Biogeochemical Transformations in Unconfined Coastal Aquifers. Congrats, Clara!

June 2021 We were at the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility in Duck, NC conducting an electrical resistivity tomography survey between the surf zone and dune.

March 2021 See our recently published paper in Water on measurement of flow and biogeochemistry in beach aquifers.

November 2020 See our >recently published paper in Water Resources Research on groundwater flow and moisture dynamics in heterogeneous swash zone sediments.

October 2020 Graduate student Clara Cogswell presented her poster on the role of temperature on biogeochemical processes in beach aquifers at GSA 2020 Connects Online!

September 2020 See our recently published paper in Water Resources Research on the role of particulate organic carbon on fueling biogeochemical processes in beach pore water.

August 2020 See our recently published paper in the Journal of Contaminant Hydrology investigating beach wrack and whale burial leachate fluxes to the subtidal zone.

June 2020 See our >recently published paper in Hydrological Processes on groundwater-surface water exchange and moisture dynamics across beaches.

May 2020 See our recently published paper in Environmental Research Letters on the effects of geologic heterogeneity on flow dynamics and nitrogen cycling in beach aquifers.

March 2020 The Hydrogeology Group was in the field jetting wells to 9 meters at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

September 2019 Bryce Mase and Clara Cogswell joined the Hydro Group. Welcome!

August 2019 Joined other academics and agency personnel at the Nearshore Extreme Event Reconnaissance (NEER) Development conference at the Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center in Arlington, Virginia.

June 2019 We were in the field at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve sampling porewater in the intertidal zone.

June 2019 We joined other researchers and leadership at UMass Lowell on a joint UMass Lowell-Portugal Workshop on Terceira Island in the Azores to promote and launch research collaboratives.

May 2019 The UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative briefs Massachusetts legislators on climate change and policy.

December 2018 We presented at the AGU 2018 Fall Meeting in Washington, DC on the role of geologic heterogeneity on generating denitrification hotspots in beach aquifers.