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 May 12th, 2020

May 9, 2020 - Paper led by George Allen published in Remote Sensing. Study shows that the Landsat archive accurately captures the long-term flow frequency distribution of rivers, except for extreme conditions like maximum and minimum flow. TAMU undergraduate research assistant, Joel Holliman coauthored the study. 

April 30, 2020 - Lin et al. (2019), Frasson et al. (2019), and Yamazaki et al. (2019) all recognized by AGU as the Most Downloaded Papers of 2018-2019. 

Apr 20, 2020 - Ennis Rios, a current MS student in the TAMU Water Management and Hydrological Science Program, joins the Global Rivers Group. Welcome aboard, Ennis!  

Apr 13, 2020 - Paper by lead author Margaret Zimmmer (at UC Santa Cruz) published in WIREs Water. This paper explores several causes and consequences of zero‐flow gage readings including frozen surface water, flow reversals, instrument error, bypass flow and upstream source loss:

Apr 11, 2020 - NASA SWOT Science Team proposal selected for funding. Proposal title: Integrating reservoirs into SWOT's global surface water storage and discharge monitoring. Investigators: Jida Wang at KSU (PI), Yongwei Shen at UCLA (Co-I), George H. Allen at TAMU (Co-I). 

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:

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:

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:

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:

Oct 2, 2019 - Abstracts accepted to 2019 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. George will deliver two talks:

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

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:

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!


©2020 by Global Rivers Group