ERC for Maria Klepikova

CONCRETER : Groundwater flow CONtrols on CRitical zonE ThErmal Regime
Maria Klepikova

Maria’s curriculum

After studying physics and applied mathematics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Maria Klepikova left for France in 2009 to do a thesis in hydrogeology with Olivier Bour and Tanguy le Borgne, both researchers at the University of Rennes 1. Her thesis focuses on specific inversion methods to image hydraulic and transport properties of fractured media. She then worked at the University of Liège in Belgium, then in Switzerland at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and at the University of Lausanne. In 2020 Maria was awarded a Marie Curie European grant to work at the University of Rennes 1, she was then recruited as a research fellow at the CNRS in early 2022 (Géosciences Rennes. During this period, she has developed new research in fields ranging from the study of the flow and transport of solute and heat in alluvial aquifers, particular rock formations formed by running water, applied topics such as deep geothermal, a potential new source of renewable energy.


The foundations of modern hydrogeology were built in the paradigm of a near-balanced temperature distribution in groundwater systems. The assumed thermal stability of groundwater is of vital importance for many groundwater and stream ecosystems, They cannot tolerate a wide range of temperatures and yet face growing threats from climate change and land use.. Recent results, however, have highlighted the great impact of ongoing atmospheric warming on shallow groundwater temperatures, with a major problem: existing models have largely bypassed the complexities associated with multi-scale heterogeneity of groundwater flow and the transient nature of groundwater flows and surface temperature.. In addition, direct field evidence of the impact of climate and anthropogenic changes on the temperature distribution of these waters is still scarce. The Concreter project will therefore assess the role of groundwater dynamics in the formation of the thermal regime of the critical zone, which 'encompasses' the atmosphere to the first layers of the Earth’s crust, in which the complex interactions between the rock, soil, water, air and living organisms regulate natural habitat and determine the availability of our vital resources. It will provide new physical frameworks and modeling tools for multi-scale heat transport processes in the critical zone.