Murugesu Sivapalan

Professor, Department of Geography & GIS
Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Contact Information
Office: 2074 Natural History Building
1301 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: +1.217.333.2675



Dr. Sivapalan's research focuses on making predictions in ungaged basins. A basic aim of his research is to understand observed space-time variabilities of runoff processes at all scales, including their extremes, and to interpret these in terms of the underlying climate-soil-vegetation-topography interactions, including human impacts. A further aim is to investigate the interactions between runoff processes, and chemical and biological processes, and to develop new process-based models capable of making predictions of both water quantity and quality in ungaged basins, subject to natural and human-induced changes to climate and the landscape.

Research Areas
Rivers, Watersheds, Sedimentary Processes, & Landscapes
Earth Systems Modeling
Natural Hazards
Water in the Earth System

Ph.D., Princeton
M.A., Princeton

Selected Publications
  • Zehe, E. "Threshold behavior in hydrological systems as (human) geo-ecosystems: manifestations, controls and implications." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 13.7 (2009): 1273-1297.
  • Jothityangkoon, C. "Framework for exploration of climatic and landscape controls on catchment water balance, with emphasis on inter-annual variability." Journal of Hydrology 371 (2009): 154–168.