George Allen

George Allen

Assistant Professor

  (979) 845-7187

  CSA 205D


  • Surface hydrology
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Remote sensing of rivers and streams
  • Water resources

I study surface water resources using remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and fieldwork. In particular, I am interested in the impacts of climate and land-use change on river systems at the global scale. My work is motivated by questions like: How much water do Earth’s rivers transmit downstream, and how is that quantity changing? How much greenhouse gas do rivers and streams emit to the atmosphere? And how can we use remote sensing to improve real-time flood mitigation?

Ongoing research projects include mapping river and stream inundation area globally, investigating potential synergism of multi-sensor fusion in hydrology, and assimilation of virtual gauge station data into large-scale hydrologic models. I am also investigating the hydrodynamics of small streams in headwater catchments using drones and fieldwork. While my research focus is primarily centered on the hydrology of rivers, I am also interested in understanding the processes over which rivers shape landscapes across vast timespans.


I am actively recruiting curious, creative, and motivated graduate students. If you are interested in joining the Global Rivers Group, check out the research site and send me an email if you have questions.

Selected Publications

  • Allen, G.H., Pavelsky, T.M. (2018), Global extent of rivers and streams. Science. [Press]
  • Allen, G.H., David, C.H., Andreadis, K.M., Hossain, F., Famiglietti, J.S. (2018), Global estimates of river flow wave travel times and implications for low-latency satellite data. Geophysical Research Letters. [Press]
  • Allen, G.H., Pavelsky, T.M., Barefoot, E.A., Lamb, M.P., Butman, D., Tashie, A., Gleason, C.J., (2018), Similarity of stream width distributions across headwater systems. Nature Communications.
  • Altenau, E., Pavelsky, T.M., Moller, D., Lion, C., Pitcher, L., Allen, G.H., Bates, P., Calmant, S., Durand, M., Smith, L., (2017), AirSWOT measurements of river water surface elevation and slope: Tanana River, AK. Geophysical Research Letters.
  • Yoon, Y., Beighley, E., Lee, H., Pavelsky, T.M., Allen, G.H., (2015), Estimating Flood Discharges in Reservoir-Regulated River Basins by Integrating Synthetic SWOT Satellite Observations and Hydrologic Modeling. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering.
  • Allen, G.H., Pavelsky, T.M., (2015), Patterns of river width and surface area newly revealed by the satellite-derived North American River Width (NARWidth) data set. Geophysical Research Letters. [Press]
  • Pavelsky, T.M., Durand, M.T., Andreadis, K.M., Beighley, R.E., Paiva, R.C.D., Allen, G.H., Miller, Z.F., (2014), Assessing the Potential Global Impact of SWOT River Observations. Journal of Hydrology.
  • Allen, G.H., Barnes, J.B., Pavelsky, T.M., Kirby, E., (2013), Lithologic and tectonic controls on bedrock channel form at the northwest Himalayan front. Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface.


Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017

M.S. Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012

B.S. Geology, University of California at Davis, 2008


2016-2017: Paul C. Hardin Dissertation Fellowship

2016: NC Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship

2016: Inducted in the UNC Royster Society of Fellows

2015: UNC Future Faculty Fellowship Award

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