Faculty - Elfatih A.B. Eltahir

Elfatih A.B. Eltahir's photo

Elfatih A.B. Eltahir

Associate Department Head


Parsons Laboratory
Room 48-207
15 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139

Telephone: 617.253.6596 Email: eltahir@mit.edu Research Website: http://eltahir.mit.edu Assistant: Joanne Batziotegos / jtegos@mit.edu


  • B.Sc. 1985, University of Khartoum
  • M.Sc. 1988, National University of Ireland
  • S.M. 1993, MIT
  • Sc.D. 1993, MIT

Research Interests

The goal of research in the Eltahir group is to advance understanding of the fundamental hydrological processes and mechanisms that govern the role of the biosphere, as characterized by vegetative cover and soil moisture conditions, in the dynamics of biosphere-atmosphere interactions and the associated water cycle at regional scales. Understanding of these processes is critical to the solution of several regional environmental problems that are important to society: (1) assessment of the impact on sustainability of regional water resources due to deforestation and desertification; (2) assessment of the predictability of large-scale hydrological droughts and floods as sources of significant natural hazard; and (3) assessment of the regional impacts on water resources, agriculture and ecosystems that may result from any global change scenario.

Teaching Interests

  • 1.071 Global Change Science
  • 1.714 Surface Hydrology
  • 1.715 Environmental Data Analysis

Selected Publications

  1. Hildebrandt, A. and E. A. B. Eltahir, 2006. Forest on the edge:Seasonal cloud forest in Omancreates its own ecological niche. Geophys.Res. Lett., 33, L11401, doi:10.1029/2006GL026022.
  2. Niemann J. D. and E. A. B. Eltahir, 2005. Sensitivity ofregional hydrology to climate changes, with application to the Illinois River basin. Water Resources Research, 40: W07014, doi:10.1029/2004WR003893.
  3. Wang, G., and E. A. B. Eltahir, 2000. Biosphere-AtmosphereInteraction Over West Africa: 1.Development and Validation of a Coupled Dynamic Model, Quarterly Journal of the Royal MeteorologicalSociety, 126 (565), 1239-1260.
  4. Eltahir, E. A. B., 1996. The Role of Vegetation in SustainingLarge-scale Atmospheric Circulations in the Tropics, Journal of Geophysical Research, 101(D2): 4255-4267.

Referred Publications pdf