©2020 by Global Rivers Group

Global Rivers Group
@Texas A&M

We use satellites, models, and fieldwork to study Earth's freshwater


We're a growing academic research group in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University. Founded in 2018 by Dr. George H. Allen, we are actively recruiting students who are interested in using emerging technology to tackle global-scale questions involving rivers, freshwater resources, and a changing planet.

What we do

We study rivers, streams, and other surface water bodies using remote sensing, fieldwork, and models. We seek to understand how climate change and land use are altering the global water cycle, in particular river hydrology. With rapid advancements in remote sensing technology, computing power, and model sophistication, it is truly an exciting time to be studying the global water cycle.


Why we do it

Water is widely considered to be the world’s most vital natural resource, yet freshwater systems are directly endangered by human activities. Our work is motivated by a desire to promote the conservation, management, and understanding of Earth's surface water resources.



Updated April 7th, 2020

Apr 2, 2020 - Paper by lead author Peirong Lin (at Princeton) published in Geophysical Research Letters. This paper uses machine learning and Big Geospatial Data to predict global bankfull river width at 723,822 river reaches globally, totaling 7.3M km in length: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086405

Jan 22, 2020 - Paper by lead author Stephen Coss (at Ohio State) published in Earth System Science Data. This paper presents GRRATS, a new global river elevation dataset produced from satellite altimetry data: https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-137-2020

Jan 1, 2020 - Paper led by Dr. Xiao Yang (at UNC) published in Nature. Our study quantifies the decline of Earth's river ice using big data remote sensing and then forecasts future declines using climate simulations: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1848-1

Dec 8-13, 2019 - George presents GRG@TAMU research at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

Nov 19, 2019 - George presents his research at the TAMU Institute for Sustainable Communities Distinguished Speaker Series

Nov 2-8, 2019 - George travels to Manaus, Brazil to present at the South America Water from Space Conference.

Oct 29, 2019 - George and TAMU undergraduate Will Maddux travel to Galveston, TX to attend to 2nd annual Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium. 

Oct 18-19, 2019 - George travels to Denton, TX to give a colloquium talk for the University of North Texas Department of Geography Crosscurrents Seminar.  

Oct 11, 2019 - Manuscript by lead author, Dr. Safat Sikder (at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory), accepted to Frontiers in Environmental Science that examines the accuracy of global runoff products using the RAPID flow routing model in south and southeastern Asia: https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2019.00171

Oct 2, 2019 - Abstracts accepted to 2019 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. George will deliver two talks: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm19/meetingapp.cgi/Person/28897

Sep 23-27, 2019 - George travels to UNM Sevilleta Field Station in New Mexico for an NSF-sponsored Dry Rivers Research Coordination Network Workshop: https://www.dryriversrcn.org/ 

Sep 15, 2019 - Manuscript accepted to Biogeochemistry by lead author Dr. Alberto Borges (at the University of Liège) that quantifies greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, N2O) concentrations in the Congo River basin: https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3801-2019

Sep 3, 2019 - Recent paper led by Peirong Lin (at Princeton) featured as an AGU EOS Editor's research highlight: 

August 27, 2019 - Ryan Riggs, BS Louisiana State University with honors, joins the Global Rivers Group as a PhD student. Welcome Ryan!