Matthew Threadgold


I am a PGR based in the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, working with Cedric Beaume, Steve Tobias and Lucas Goehring. My project is focused on pattern formation in dry lakes. I previously completed my master’s and undergraduate in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.


2019-2020: Part III Mathematical Tripos (MMath), Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

2016-2019: BA Mathematics, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

Research Interests

In my research I am interested in fluid dynamics, in particular convection and porous media flows.

Project Title

Convection in Dry Lakes


Cedric Beaume (University of Leeds), Steve Tobias (University of Leeds), Lucas Goehring (Nottingham Trent University)


Panorama NERC DTP, 2020

Project Outline

This project is motivated by the patterns observed at the surface of dry salt lakes (e.g. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia), which tend to be found in arid environments. The salt crust forms ridges which are organised into a network of various different types of polygons.

It is useful to understand the heat fluxes through these salt lakes as they play an important role in water and energy balances of the areas they are found in. Salt lakes also contribute to the emission of atmospheric dust which is a key aspect of climate models.

I aim to explain these patterns as a result of the convective dynamics in the porous medium below the surface of the lake, through both analytical and numerical tools.