Researcher exchange report between Aberdeen, UK and Hohai, China.

In 2016 and again this year I spent 5 months working at Hohai University. During these periods I mainly worked with Professor Xi Chen, the Chinese leader of our CZO project, (Project 1, Karst). We used a catchment scale conceptual model of water and solute transport in the dual flow system of the karst critical zone and the results have published in Hydrological Processes. After many discussions with Xi’s group, we have successfully coupled the hydrological processes with C and N in the model. I am now running the model.

I also worked with other researchers in the Chinese group. Professor Xianrong Ding, a geologist at Hohai University, gave me a lot of help in catchment characteristics, especially in rock, ground channel network and distribution of sinkholes. This was very helpful to the modeling work on catchment scale. In our study area, the event sampling work (hourly) is very difficult because of the bad weather and steep terrain. Fortunately, the members of Xi’s team designed an auto sample collection machine. Using this device, we have collected more than 2000 water samples over the whole summer season. We are now pushing to analyze this data and write papers.

I in turn introduced some ideas and methods to Chinese team about hydrochemistry and modeling I had learned from Professor Chris Soulsby in Aberdeen University. They thought these discussions helped expand each other’s research ideas, and found it very helpful to the CZO project.

Written by Zhicai Zhang, Aberdeen University. PDRA, Project 1, Karst.