Rafael L. Bras

Rafael L. Bras


  • B.A. 1972, MIT
  • M.S. 1974, MIT
  • Sc.D. 1975, MIT

Research Interests

There is an inseparable relationship between atmospheric phenomena, land surface hydrologic processes and the landforms of river basins. Professor Bras’ research spans hydrometeorology and fluvial geomorphology, and seeks to understands form and function and improve hydrologic predictions. His approach is to formulate physical theories that explain empirical observations. Ultimately his research group creates mathematical models that help in prediction and analysis of hydrologic and geomorphic phenomena.

Teaching Interests

  • Hydrology
  • Hydroclimatology
  • Random Processes
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Dynamics of Complex Systems
  • Ecohydrology

Selected Publications

  1. Tucker, G., L. Arnold, R.L. Bras, H. Flores, E. Istanbulluoglu and P. Solyom, “Headwater channel dynamics in semiarid rangelands, Colorado high plains, USA,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, 118:959-974, 2006.
  2. Flores-Cervantes, J. H., E. Istanbulluoglu and R. L. Bras, “Development of gullies on the landscape: A model of headcut retreat resulting from plunge pool erosion,” J. Geophysical Research, 111, F01010, doi:10.1029/2004JF000226, 2006.
  3. Istanbulluoglu, E. and R.L. Bras, “On the dynamics of soil moisture, vegetation, and erosion: Implications of climate variability and change,” Water Resources Res., 42(6), W06418, 2006.
  4. Wu, S., R. L. Bras and A. P. Barros, “Sensitivity of channel profiles to precipitation properties in mountain ranges,” J. Geophysical Research,, 111, F01024, doi:10.1029/2004JF000164, 2006.