Rajiv Sinha

PhD (University of Cambridge, England)

Professor, Departement of Earth Sciences


Research Interest



  • PhD (fluvial sedimentology), University of Cambridge, UK, 1992
    Thesis Title:Quaternary alluvial sedimentology of the Gandak-Kosi inter fan, north Bihar, India
    Thesis Supervisor:Dr. Peter F. Friend
  • M.Tech. (Applied Geology), University of Roorkee, India, 1987
  • B.Sc., Patna University, India, 1983



  • Earth surface processes, river science, geomorphology, climate change


  • Lahiri, S.K. and Sinha, R. (2014). Morphotectonic evolution of the Majuli island in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam, India inferred from geomorphic and geophysical analysis. Geomorphology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.04.032.

  • Kumar, R., Jain, V., Prasad Babu, G. and Sinha, R. (2014). Connectivity structure of the Kosi megafan and role of rail-road transport network. Geomorphology, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.04.031

  • Roy, N.G. and Sinha, R. (2014). Effective discharge for suspended sediment transport of the Ganga river and its geomorphic implications. Geomorphology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.04.029

  • Sinha, R., Priyanka, S., V. Jain and Malay Mukul (2014). Avulsion threshold and planform dynamics of the Kosi river in north Bihar (India) and Nepal: a GIS framework. Geomorphology, 216, 157-170.

  • Sinha, R., Jawed Ahmad, Kumar Gaurav and Guillaume Morin (2014). Shallow subsurface stratigraphy and alluvial architecture of the Kosi and Gandak megafans in the Himalayan foreland basin, India. Sedimentary Geology, 301, 133-149.

  • Dixit, Y., Hodell, D.A., Sinha, R. and Petrie, C.A. (2014). Abrupt weakening of the summer monsoon at 8.2 kyr B.P. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 391, 16-23.

  • Sinha, R., Gaurav Kumar, S. Chandra and S.K. Tandon (2013). Exploring the channel connectivity structure of the August 2008 avulsion belt of the Kosi River, India: Application to flood risk assessment. Geology, v. 41; no. 10; p. 1099 – 1102.

  • Sinha, R., Yadav, G.S., Gupta, S., Singh, Ajit, and Lahiri, S.K. (2013). Geoelectric resistivity evidence for subsurface paleochannel systems adjacent to Harappan sites in northwest India. Quaternary International, 308-309, 66-75.

  • Roy, N.G. R. Sinha, M.R. Gibling (2012) Aggradation, incision and interfluve flooding in the Ganga Valley over the past 100,000 years: Testing the influence of monsoonal precipitation. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 356-357, 38-53.

  • Pal, D.K., T. Bhattacharya, R. Sinha, P. Srivastava, A.S. Dasgupta, P., Chandran, S.K. Ray, A. Nimje (2012). Clay minerals record from Late Quaternary drill cores of the Ganga Plains and their implications for provenance and climate change in the Himalayan foreland. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 356-357, 27-37.

  • Lahiri, S.K. and Sinha, R. (2012). Tectonic controls on the morpho-dynamics of the Brahmaputra River System in Upper Assam valley, India. Geomorphology, 169-170, 74-85.

  • Sinha, R. & Santosh Ghosh (2012): Understanding dynamics of large rivers aided by satellite remote sensing: a case study from Lower Ganga plains, India, Geocarto International, 27 (3), 207-219.

  • K. Gaurav, R. Sinha, P.K. Panda (2011). The Indus Flood of 2010 in Pakistan: a perspective analysis using remote sensing data. Natural Hazards, 59, 1815 - 1826 (DOI 10.1007/s11069-011-9869-6).

  • Gibling, M.R., Fielding, C.R. and Sinha, R., (2011). Alluvial valleys and alluvial sequences: towards a geomorphic assessment, SEPM Special Publication No. 97,423–447.

  • Rahaman, Waliur, Sunil K. Singh, Rajiv Sinha, S.K. Tandon (2011) Sr, C and O isotopes in carbonate nodules from the Ganga Plain: Evidence for recent abrupt rise in dissolved 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the Ganga. Chemical Geology 285 (2011) 184­193.

  • Barnes, Jason, Alexander Densmore , Malay Mukul , Rajiv Sinha, Vikrant Jain, Sampat Tandon (2011). Interplay between faulting and base level in the development of Himalayan frontal fold topography. Journal of Geophysical Research (Earth Surface) 116, F03012 (doi:10.1029/2010JF001841).

  • Nádor Annamária, Sinha, R, Árpád Magyari , Sampat K. Tandon, Zsófia Medzihradszky, Edit Babinszki, Edit Thamó-Bozsó, Zoltán Ungera, Ashish Singh (2011). Late Quaternary (Weichselian) alluvial history and neotectonic control on fluvial landscape development in the southern Körös plain, Hungary, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 299 (2011) 1-14.

  • Srivastava, P., M. K. Rajak, R. Sinha, D.K. Pal, T. Bhattacharyya (2010) A high resolution micromorphological record of the Late Quaternary paleosols from Ganga-Yamuna Interfluve: Stratigraphic and Paleoclimatic implications, Quaternary International, 227, 127-142.

  • Sanyal, P. and Sinha, R. (2010) Evolution of the Indian summer monsoon: Synthesis of continental records. In: Clift, P. D., Tada, R. & Zheng, H. (eds) Monsoon Evolution and Tectonics - Climate Linkage in Asia. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 342, 151 - 179.

  • Yadav, G.S., Dasgupta, A.S., Sinha, R., Lal, T., Srivastava, K.M., Singh, S.K.,(2010) Shallow sub-surface stratigraphy of interfuves inferred from vertical electric soundings in western Ganga plains, India, Quaternary International, 227, 104-115.

  • Sinha, R. (2009) The Great avulsion of Kosi on 18 August 2008. Current Science, VOL. 97, NO. 3, 429-433.

  • Rahaman, W., Sunil K. Singh1, Rajiv Sinha and S.K. Tandon (2009) Variations in the Provenance of Sediments of the Ganga Plain during the past ~100 ka: Role of Climate. Geology, 37(6), 559–562.

  • Sinha, R. Gibling M.R. and Y. Kettanah, , S.K. Tandon, P.S. Bhattacharjee, and A.S. Dasgupta, P. Ghazanfari, (2009) Craton-derived alluvium as a major sediment source in the Himalayan Foreland Basin of India. GSA Bulletin, 121, 1596-1610.

  • Sinha, R. and Sarkar, S. (2009) Climate-induced variability in the Late Pleistocene-Holocene fluvial and fluvio-deltaic successions in the Ganga plains, India. Geomorphology, 113, 173-188.Sinha, R., Yadav, G.S., Gupta, S., Singh, Ajit, and Lahiri, S.K. (2013). Geoelectric resistivity evidence for subsurface paleochannel systems adjacent to Harappan sites in northwest India. Quaternary International, 308-309, 66-75.Tandon, S.K., Sinha, R., Gibling, M.R., Dasgupta, A.S., Ghazanfari, Parvez (2008) Late Quaternary evolution of the Ganga Plains: myths and misconceptions, recent developments and future directions. Memoir Jour. Geol. Soc. India, 66, 259-299.Sinha, R., G.V. Bapalu, G.V., Singh, L.K., and Rath, B. (2008). Flood risk analysis in the Kosi river basin, north Bihar using multi-parametric approach of Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). J. Indian Soc. Remote Sensing, 36:293–307.Gibling, M. R., Sinha, R., Roy, N. G., S.K. Tandon, Jain, M. (2008). Quaternary fluvial and eolian deposits on the Belan River, India: paleoclimatic setting of Paleolithic to Neolithic archeological sites over the past 85,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27/3-4, 392-411.Tandon, S.K. and Sinha, R. (2007). Geology of large river systems. In: Large Rivers (ed. Avijit Gupta), John Wiley and Sons, UK.Sinha, R., Kumar, R., Sinha, S. Tandon, S.K. and Gibling, M.R. (2007). Late Cenozoic fluvial successions in India: an overview and synthesis. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, 2801-2822.

  • Roy, N. G. and Sinha, R. (2007) Understanding confluence dynamics in the alluvial Ganga–Ramganga valley, India: An integrated approach using geomorphology and hydrology. Geomorphology, 92/3-4, 182-197.

  • Sinha, R., Bhattacharjee, P., Sangode, S.J., Gibling, M.R. and Tandon, S.K., Jain, M. Godfrey, D. (2007). Valley and interfluve sediments in the southern Ganga plains, India: exploring facies and magnetic signatures. Sedimentary Geology, 201, 386-411.

  • Sinha R., S.K. Tandon, P. Sanyal, M.R. Gibling, D. Stuben, Zsolt Berner and P. Ghazanfari (2006). Calcretes from a monsoon-dominated Late Quaternary interfluve in the Southern Ganga Plains: isotopic data and palaeoenvironmental implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 242/3-4 pp 214-239.

  • Tandon, S.K., Gibling M.R., Sinha R., Singh V., Ghazanfari P., Dasgupta A., Jain M. and Jain V. (2006) Alluvial valleys of the Gangetic Plains, India: causes and timing of incision. In: Incised Valleys in Time and Space, SEPM Special Publication no. 85, 15-35.

  • Sinha, R., W. Smykatz-Kloss, D. Stueben, S.P. Harrison, Z. Berner & U. Kramar (2006) Late Quaternary palaeoclimatic reconstruction from the lacustrine sediments of the Sambhar playa core, Thar Desert margin, India. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 233/3-4, 252-270.

  • Roy P. D., Smykatz-Kloss W. and Sinha R. (2006) Late Holocene geochemical history inferred from Sambhar and Didwana playa sediments, Thar Desert, India: comparison and synthesis. Quaternary International, 144/1, 84-98.

  • Latrubesse, E.M., Stevaux J.C. and Sinha, R. (2005) Tropical Rivers. Geomorphology, 70/3-4, 187-206.

  • Sinha R., Jain V., Prasad Babu G., and Ghosh S. (2005) Geomorphic characterization and diversity of the fluvial systems of the Gangetic plains. Geomorphology, 70/3-4, 207-225.

  • Jain V. & Sinha, R. (2005) Response of active tectonics on the alluvial Baghmati river, Himalayan foreland basin, eastern India. Geomorphology, 70/3-4, 339-356.

  • Gibling, M.R. Tandon, S.K., Sinha, R. and Jain, M. (2005). Discontinuity-bounded alluvial sequences of the southern Gangetic plains, India: aggradation and degradation in response to monsoonal strength. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 75(3), 373-389.

  • Sinha, R. & Raymahashay B. C. (2004) Evaporite mineralogy and geochemical evolution of the Sambhar Salt Lake, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India. Sedimentary Geology, 166, 59-71.

  • Jain, V. & Sinha, R. (2004) Fluvial dynamics of an anabranching river system in Himalayan foreland basin, Baghmati river, north Bihar plains, India, Geomorphology, 60, pp. 147-170

  • Vaidhyanathan, N. S., Gaurav Sharma, R. Sinha, & Onkar Dikshit (2002), Mapping of erosion intensity in Garhwal Himalaya", Int. Jour. Remote Sensing, v.23 (20), 4125-4129.

  • Sinha, R., Sanjoy Das & Onkar Dikshit (2002) GIS-assisted mapping of catchment-scale erosion and sediment sources in Alaknanda valley, Garhwal Himalaya, India, Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (Annals of Geomorphology), 46/2 (June), p. 145-165.

  • Roy, P.D., R. Sinha & W. Smykatz-Kloss (2001) Mineralogy and geochemistry of the evaporitic crust from the hypersaline Sambhar Lake playa, Thar Desert, India, Chemie der Erde (Geochemistry), v.61, 241-253.

  • Sinha, R. & Jain, V. (1998) "Flood Hazards of North Bihar Rivers, Indo-Gangetic Plains", In: Flood studies in India; Memoir Geological Society of India, No.41. p.27-52.

  • Sinha, R. (1998) "On the controls of fluvial hazards in the north Bihar plains, eastern India", In: Maund, J.G. & Eddleston, M. (Eds) Geohazards in Engineering Geology, Geological Society of London, Engineering Geology Spl. Publication 15, p.35-40.

  • Sinha, R., Friend, P. F. and Switsur, V. R. (1996), "Radiocarbon dating and sedimentation rates of Holocene alluvial sediments of northern Bihar plains, India", Geological Magazine, 133(1), p.85-90.

  • Sinha, R. (1996). "Channel avulsion and floodplain structure in the Gandak-Kosi interfan, north Bihar plains, India", Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie N.F., Suppl.-Bd, 103, p.249-268.

  • Sinha, R. and Friend, P. F. (1994). "River systems and their sediment flux, Indo-Gangetic plains, northern Bihar, India", Sedimentology, 41, p.825-845.

  • Friend, P. F. and Sinha, R. (1993). "Braiding and Meandering Parameters", in J. L. Best and C. S. Bristow (ed.) 'Braided Rivers', Geological Society of London Special Publication, 75, p.105-111.


  • New insights on process based understanding of river systems, geomorphology as a template for river management

  • Alexander Densmore and Patrice Carbonneau, University of Durham

  • Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College London

  • Craig Hutton, University of Southampton

  • Paul Whitehead, University of Oxford

  • Francois Metivier, Institute du Physique de Globe, Paris

  • Christian France-Lanord, CNRS, Nancy, France


  • Apr'14- present: Professor and Head, Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Kanpur

  • Dec'05- Apr 2014: Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur

  • Oct'01-Dec'05: Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur

  • Dec'95-Sep'01: Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur

  • June'94 –Nov'95: Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur

  • Apr'93-June'94: Scientist, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee


  • Member, Editorial Board:

  • Journal of Sedimentary Research (SEPM)

  • Quaternary International (Elsevier)

  • Earth Surface Processes & Landforms (Wiley Interscience)

  • The Open Geology Journal (Bentham)

  • Indian Journal of Polar Research (NESA)

  • Journal of Indian Association of Sedimentologists

  • Memberships of professional societies

  • International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS) (National Correspondent)

  • Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)

  • Quaternary Research Association, UK

  • Geological Society of India

  • India Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies

  • Indian Society of Hydraulics

  • Indian Society of Remote Sensing


  • Pandit Girish Ranjan & Sushma Rani Pathak Chair Professorship (2013)

  • Best paper award by the Indian Society of Remote sensing (2008)

  • S.S. Merh Award for contributions in Quaternary Geology, Geol. Soc. of India (2006)

  • National Mineral Award, Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India (2002)

  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for post-doctoral research in Germany (2000).

  • Career Award for Young Teachers, All India Council for Technical Education (1998)

  • Letter of appreciation for courses ESO208 (1997-98 I semester), CE640 (2011-12 I)

  • Selected for the XVI Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (Dec.'96-Mar'97) (1998)

  • Lundgren Research Award & Cambridge Philosophical Society Research Award, Cambridge University, UK (1992).

  • Cambridge Nehru Scholarship for doctoral research at Cambridge University, UK (1989).

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) Research Fellowship in Engg. & Tech. (1988).

  • University Gold Medal during the M.Tech course (1987).

  • State Merit Scholarship and University Grants Commission (UGC) Merit Scholarship during the M.Tech Course (1986).


303B, Western Lab Extension Building
IIT Kanpurr,
Kanpur 208016

Office Phone: 0512-679-7317 (O)

Labs addresses: Core Archive and Analysis Lab

Labs phone: 0512-679-6203


  • Rajiv Sinha, Himalayan rivers, Ganga, Kosi floods


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