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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Fairchild, Room 408
HB 6105


Earth Sciences


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

Selected Publications

  • Renshaw, C.E., Murdza, A., Schulson, E.M. (2021), Experimental verification of the isotropic onset of percolation in 3D crack networks in polycrystalline materials with implications for the applicability of percolation theory to crustal rocks, Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, 126(12): e2021JB023092, doi: 10.1029/2021JB023092.

  • Fields, J., Renshaw, C.E., Magilligan, F.J., Dethier, E.N., Rossi, R. (2021), A mechanistic understanding of channel evolution following dam removal, Geomorphology, 395, 107971, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2021.107971.

  • Landis, J.D., Feng, X., Kaste, J.M., Renshaw, C.E. (2021), Aerosol Populations, Processes, and Ages in Bulk Deposition: Insights From a 9-Year Study of Be-7, Pb-210, Sulfate, and Major/Trace Elements, Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 126(21): e2021JD035612, doi: 10.1029/2021JD035612.

  • Murdza, A., Polojarvi, A., Schulson, E.M., Renshaw, C.E. (2021), The flexural strength of bonded ice, Cryosphere, 15(6):2957-2967, doi: 10.5194/tc-15-2957-2021.

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