Carl E. Renshaw

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Earth Sciences

  • Adjunct Professor, Thayer School of Engineering

I am a hydrologist with research interests in the response of rivers and streams to disturbance -- whether the disturbance is natural (e.g. large floods and climate change) or anthropogenic (e.g. dams, dam removal, and industrial and agricultural legacy contaminants).  Much of my work is collaborative with Frank Magilligan.  Our work is motivated by the fact that extreme precipitation events are now 67% more common in New England than they were just 30 years ago.  And New England has one of the highest densities of dams in the U.S. and is one of the leading regions of dam removal in the U.S. – with the number of dams removed year growing exponentially.  Despite the growing number of extreme floods and dam removals, the science of river restoration lags behind its application.  

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201 Fairchild
HB 6105


  • B.A. Carleton College
  • M.A. Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. Stanford University

Selected Publications

  • Dethier, E., Magilligan, F.J., Renshaw, C.E., The role of chronic and episodic disturbances on channel-hillslope coupling:  The persistence and legacy of extreme floods, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41(10):1437-1447, 2016.

  • Gartner, J.D., Magilligan, F.J., Renshaw, C.E., Predicting the type, locations and magnitude of geomorphic responses to dam removal:  Role of hydrologic and geomorphic constraints, Geomorphology, 251(SI):20-30, 2015.

  • Underwood, J. W., C. E. Renshaw, F. J. Magilligan, W. B. Dade, and J. D. Landis, Joint isotopic mass balance: a novel approach to quantifying channel bed to channel margins sediment transfer during storm events, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 40(12):1563-1573, 2015.

  • Renshaw, C.E., Marchenko, A., Schulson, E.M., Karulin, E., Effect of compressive loading on first-year sea ice permeability, Journal of Glaciology, in press.

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