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Crawford Hydrology Lab research presented at U.N. water conference in Africa

Crawford Hydrology Lab Director Chris Groves and WKU graduate student Autumn Turner returned from Dakar, Senegal, last week where they attended the International Conference on African Large River Basin Hydrology.

WKU graduate student Autumn Turner (third from left) listens to a presentation about African river hydrology research.

WKU graduate student Autumn Turner (third from left) listens to a presentation about African river hydrology research.

The conference was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through its FRIEND (Flow Regimes for International Experimental and Network Data) Program. The conference brought together scientists and policy experts from Africa, Europe and the United States to discuss current efforts to develop methods to study large river basins in Africa, and to share experiences gained in the study of large river basins throughout the world.

The WKU pair gave a set of talks focused on the Crawford Lab’s research efforts to quantify rates that CO2 gas is being removed from the atmosphere through chemical processes as limestone bedrock dissolves in the world’s karst areas. These efforts are scaling up in an effort to eventually include all the continents, and the meeting was an excellent chance to learn about sources of relevant data in Africa.

Turner’s talk, “Measurement of the Atmospheric CO2 Sink from Carbonate Mineral Weathering for Large River Basins: the Ohio River, USA,” detailed the methods by which these larger scale measurements are being made, and Dr. Groves introduced the global and African perspectives with “Scaling up Measurement of the Atmospheric CO2 Sink From Carbonate Mineral Weathering to the World’s Large River Basins and Considerations for Africa.”

The Crawford Hydrology Laboratory, within WKU’s Applied Research and Technology Program, is a nationally leading laboratory for the study of groundwater flow for companies and agencies throughout the United States and internationally. The lab also provides training and has a number of research programs underway, involving students in all aspects.

The conference was an excellent chance to meet many water scientists, especially from Europe and throughout Africa, and the team made excellent new contacts to begin understanding both the sources and limitations of African hydrologic and geochemical data for a variety of countries.

Contact: Chris Groves, (270) 745-5974 or chris.groves@wku.edu

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