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Renato Prata de Moraes Frasson

Photo of Renato Prata de Moraes Frasson


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 300-331

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

Click here

Member of:

Water & Ecosystems



Renato joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2020 as a Research Scientist in the Terrestrial Hydrology group. He studies river networks using satellite imagery and wide swath altimetry.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (2011)
  • Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (2007)
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES), Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil.

Professional Experience

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA - Scientist (2020-present)
  • Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio - Senior Research Associate (2015-2020)
  • Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio - Postdoctoral researcher (2012-2015)

Community Service

Panelist and/or reviewer for review panels:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program

Peer reviews for international scientific journals:

  • Water Resources Research
  • Geophysical Research Letters
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology
  • Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
  • Remote Sensing of Environment and others

Participation in editorial boards:

  • Journal of Hydrometeorology
  • Remote Sensing

Research Interests

  • Developing methods to use satellite data for better water resources management and risk assessment
  • Extracting river morphology from satellite imagery
  • Using remotely sensed measurements of river discharge, precipitation, and soil moisture to improve our understanding of the hydrologic cycle
  • Assessing uncertainty in spaceborne observation of river properties

Selected Awards

  • Early Career Public Achievement Medal, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2021

Selected Publications

The most up-to-date list is at: A subset of recent papers is below:

  • Durand, M. T., Gleason, C. J., Pavelsky, T. M., Frasson, R.P.M., Turmon, M., David, C. H., Altenau, E. H., Tebaldi, N., Larnier, K., Monnier, J., Malaterre, P. O., Oubanas, H., Allen, G. H., Astifan, B., Brinkerhoff, C., Bates, P. D., Bjerklie, D., Coss, S., Dudley, R., Fenoglio, L., Garambois, P.-A., Getirana, A., Lin, P., Margulis, S. A., Matte, P., Minear, J. T., Muhebwa, A., Pan, M., Peters, D., Riggs, R., Sikder, M. S., Simmons, T., Stuurman, C., Taneja, J., Tarpanelli, A., Schulze, K., Tourian, M. J., & Wang, J. (2023). A framework for estimating global river discharge from the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite mission. Water Resources Research, n/a(n/a), e2021WR031614. doi: 10.1029/2021WR031614
  • Frasson, R.P.M., Turmon, M.J., Durand, M., David, C.H. (2023). Estimating the relative impact of measurement, parameter, and flow law errors on discharge from the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 24(3). doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-22-0078.1
  • Bonnema, M., David, C.H., Frasson, R.P.M., Oaida, C., Yun, S.H. (2022). The global surface area variations of lakes and reservoirs as seen from satellite remote sensing. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(15), e2022GL098987. doi: 10.1029/2022GL098987.
  • Altenau, E.H., Pavelsky, T., Durand, M., Yang, X., Frasson, R.P.M., Bendezu, L. (2021). The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission River Database (SWORD): A Global River Network for Satellite Data Products. Water Resources Research, 57(7), e2021WR030054. doi:/10.1029/2021WR030054
  • Frasson, R.P.M., Durand, M., Larnier, K., Gleason, C., Andreadis,K.M., Hagemann, M., Dudley, R., Bjerklie, D., Oubanas, H., Garambois, P.A., Malaterre, P.O., Lin, P., Pavelsky, T., Monier, J., Brinkerhoff, C., David, C. H. (2021). Exploring the factors controlling the error characteristics of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission discharge estimates. Water Resources Research, 57(6), e2020WR028519. doi:10.1029/2020WR028519.
  • Nickles, C., Beighley, E., Durand, M., Frasson, R.P.M. (2020). Integrating lateral inflows into SWOT Mission river discharge algorithm. Water Resources Research, 56(10), doi: 10.1029/2019WR026589.
  • Durand, M., Curtis, C., Frasson, R.P.M., Pavelsky, T., Williams, B., Yang, X., Fore, A. (2020). How will radar layover impact SWOT measurements of water surface elevation and slope, and estimates of river discharge? Remote Sensing of Environment, 247, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.111883
  • Rodríguez, E., Durand, M., Frasson, R.P.M. (2020). Observing rivers with varying spatial scales. Water Resoures Research, 56(9), doi: 10.1029/2019WR026476.
  • Lin, P., Pan, M., Allen, G. H., Frasson, R.P.M., Zeng, Z., Wood, E. F. (2020). Global reach-level bankfull river width leveraging big-data geospatial analysis. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(7), doi: 10.1029/2019GL086405.
  • Frasson, R.P.M., Schumann, G., Ketner, A.J., Brackenridge, G.R., Krajewski, W.F. (2019). Will the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission observe floods? Geophysical Research Letters, 46(17-18), 10435-10445, doi: 10.1029/2019GL084686.
  • Lin, P., Pan, M., Beck, H., Yang, Y., Yamazaki, D., Frasson, R.P.M., David, C., Durand, M., Pavelsky, T., Allen, G., Gleason, C., Wood, E. (2019). Global reconstruction of naturalized river flows at 2.94 million reaches, Water Resources Research, 55(8), 6499-6516, doi: 10.1029/2019WR025287.
  • Frasson, R. P. M., Pavelsky, T.M., Fonstad, M.A., Durand M., Allen, G.H., Schumann, G.,Lion, C., Beighley, R.E., and Yang, X. (2019). Global relationships between river width, slope, catchment area, meander wavelength, sinuosity, and discharge, Geophysical Research Letters, 46(6), 3252-3262, doi: 10.1029/2019GL082027.
  • Frasson, R.P.M., Wei, R., Durand, M., Minear, J. T., Domeneghetti, A., Schumann, G., Williams, B.A., Rodríguez, E., Picamilh, C., Lion, C., Pavelsky, T. (2017). Automated river reach definition strategies: applications for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography Mission. Water Resources Research, 53 (10), 8164-8186, doi: 10.1002/2017WR020887
  • Durand, M., Gleason, C.J., Garambois, P.A., Bjerklie, D., Smith, L.C., Roux, H., Rodríguez, E., Bates, P.D., Pavelsky, T.M., Monnier, J., Chen, X., Di Baldassarre, G., Fiset, J.-M., Flipo, N., Frasson, R.P.M., Fulton, J., Goutal, N., Hossain, F., Humphries, E., Minear, J.T., Mukolke, M.M., Neal, J.C., Ricci, S., Sanders, B.F., Shummann, G., Schubert, J.E., Vilmin, L. (2016). An intercomparison of remote sensing river discharge estimation algorithms from measurements of river height, width, and slope. Water Resources Reserch, 52 (6), 4527–4549, doi: 10.1002/2015wr018434.
  • Frasson, R.P.M., Cunha, L.K., and Krajewski, W.F. (2011). Assessment of the Thies optical disdrometer performance. Atmospheric Research, 101, 237-255, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2011.02.014.