Ying Fan Reinfelder


Ying Fan Reinfelder
Associate Professor

Rutgers University
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Wright Laboratories
610 Taylor Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8066 U.S.A.
Department of Environmental Sciences

email: yingfan at eps dot rutgers dot edu
tel: (848) 445-3437


To Potential Students and Postdocs

If you are curious about the role of water in regulating global environmental change, physically, chemically or biologically, in the distant or recent geologic past, or in the present and the near future, please contact me and we'll chat. I am a hydrologist not interested in water per se, but in what water does to shape our landscape through the ages. Water connects all. Little happens without water. At least on this planet. 

Some Thoughts on Publishing

My plan for the rest of my working life is to read more, a great deal more, to write less, and to publish even less. Clearly the culture nowadays does not reward such a practice. The result is that there are more writers than there are readers, which often means that much of the writing is not worth reading. We publish just to publish. Understandably, one must run the mad race to be hired, promoted, and tenured. But for those of us who are “secure”, perhaps slow down, take a deep breathe, pick up a good book, and sit by the window and read, the very reason why we wanted to be a scholar.

For me, it serves as a convenient excuse for my low “productivity”. But for many deep thinkers I highly esteem, it is simply who they are, the way they conduct their lives, conscientious of every bit of garbage they might leave behind to clutter the paths of noble scholars that come after.

We tell our students to “stay on top of the literature”. But how, with so much coming out each day? If you are like me, a slow reader who savors every beautiful word, sentence, reasoning, and every bit of intricacy and complexity of related ideas, you are stuck. If you are like me, who takes longer notes than the article one is reading, whose mind wonders into far-away and long-go worlds on the wings of imagination spurred by a single word or sentence in the reading, you are truly stuck.

My instinct is to retreat, to the old books and papers that I find kinship and console. In doing so, I have made intimate friends with Alfred Russel Wallace, John Wesley Powell, William Austin Cannon, Oscar Edward Meinzer, Walter B. Langbein, John Ernest Weaver, Heinrich Karl Walter, George Ledyard Stebbins Jr., and many more, some my living friends or imaginary friends. The list is growing, but slowly.


Courses I Teach

  • Undergraduate: Hydrogeology (01:460:428:01), offered in the Fall in odd years (2017, 2019, ...)
  • Undergraduate: Hydrologic Processes (01:460:414:01, 11:670:414:01), offered every Spring
  • Graduate: Groundwater Modeling (16:460:528:01), offered in the Fall in even years (2016, 2018, ...)     


Research Interests

  • Water-plant relations belowground, present, past, and future
  • Co-evolution of land plants and the terrestrial environment


Members of Research Team

  • Caio Reis Costa Mattos, PhD student - Amazon species distribution, biodiversity and hydrologic niches
  • Monica Norton, PhD student - Wetlands through time
  • Justin Perket, Postdoctoral Associate - CUAHSI-NCAR collaboration on improving hydrology in Earth System Models
  • Aaron Potkay, PhD student - Global water cycle and Earth system history
  • Paul Romero, M.S. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Numerical modeling of multi-phase fluid dynamics for geologic carbon sequestration
  • Zoe Kim, Princeton High School student - Visualizing plant rooting depth in Google Earth


  • Ross Alter, Ph.D. student (Atmospheric Sciences) - Land-atmosphere interaction, irrigation-precipitation link
  • Yadu Pokhrel, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Amazon water cycle and climate, anthropogenic water cycle change
  • Haibin Li, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Regional and global climatic-hydrologic modeling
  • Alex Fiore, M.S. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Groundwater flow and transport in fractured rocks
  • Rami Abousleiman, undergraduate Senior Thesis (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Impact of pervious pavement on run reduction on RU campus
  • Deniz Kustu, Ph.D. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Hydrologic-climatic impact of groundwater pumping for irrigation in the US High Plains
  • Neil Ramchandani, RU Aresty undergraduate scholar (Electrical Engineering) -Groundwater database, Micro-hydropower
  • Anthony DeAngelis, M.S. student (Atmospheric Sciences) - Effect of High Plains' irrigation on local and downwind precipitation
  • Richard Anyah, Postdoctoral Associate (Atmospheric Sciences) - Effect of groundwater on soil moisture, ET, and precipitation
  • Morgan Schaller, M.S. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Importance of long-distance groundwater flow in river basin water budget
  • Michael Serfes, Ph.D. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Arsenic occurrence, sources and mobilization in bedrock aquifers, Newark Basin (dissertation)


Publications (under Y. Fan)

Recent Publications (student/postdoc authors in bold font):

  • Kuppel, S., Y. Fan, E. G. Jobbagy (2017) Seasonal hydrologic buffer on continents: patterns, drivers and ecological benefits, Advances in Water Resources, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2017.01.004.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0309170816302275
  • Boyce, C. K., Fan, Y. and Zwieniecki, M. A. (2017), Did trees grow up to the light, up to the wind, or down to the water? How modern high productivity colors perception of early plant evolution. New Phytologist, doi:10.1111/nph.14387. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.14387/full
  • Fan Y. (2016) Groundwater – How much and how old? Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2609. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2609.html, or http://rdcu.be/f9sn
  • Brooks, P. D., J. Chorover, Y. Fan, S. E. Godsey, R. M. Maxwell, J. P. McNamara, and C. Tague (2015), Hydrological partitioning in the critical zone: Recent advances and opportunities for developing transferable understanding of water cycle dynamics, Water Resources Research, 50yr Anniversary Special Issue, 51, doi:10.1002/2015WR017039. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015WR017039/pdf
  • Clark, M. P., Y. Fan, D. M. Lawrence, J. C. Adam, D. Bolster, D. J. Gochis, R. P. Hooper, M. Kumar, L. R. Leung, D. S. Mackay, R. M. Maxwell, C. Shen, S. C. Swenson, and X. Zeng (2015), Improving the representation of hydrologic processes in Earth System Models, Water Resources Research, 50yr Anniversary Special Issue, 51, doi:10.1002/2015WR017096. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2015WR017096/full
  • Fan Y. (2015) Groundwater in the Earth's critical zone—Relevance to large-scale patterns and processes, Water Resources Research, 50yr Anniversary Special Issue, 51, 3052-3069, doi:10.1002/2015WR017037, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015WR017037/full
  • Alter RE, Y Fan, BR Lintner, CP Weaver (2015) Observational evidence that Great Plains irrigation has enhanced summer precipitation intensity and totals in the Midwestern US, Journal of Hydrometeorology, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-14-0115.1
  • Fan Y, S Richard, RS Bristol, SE Peters, SE Ingebritsen, N Moosdorf, A Packman, T Gleeson, I Zaslavsky, S Peckham, L Murdoch, M Fienen, M Cardiff, D Tarboton, N Jones, R Hooper, J Arrigo, D Gochis, J Olson, and D Wolock (2014) DigitalCrust - A 4D Data System of Material Properties for Transforming Research on Crustal Fluid Flow. Special Issue on Crustal Permeability. Geofluids 15, 372-379, DOI: 10.1111/gfl.12114 (pdf)
  • Pokhrel, Y. N., Y. Fan, G. Miguez-Macho (2014) Potential hydrologic changes in the Amazon by the end of the 21st century and the groundwater buffer, Environmental Research Letters, 9, 084004 (pdf).
  • Krakauer, N. Y., H. Li, and Y. Fan (2014) Groundwater flow across spatial scales: importance for climate modeling, Environmental Research Letters, 9, 034003 (pdf).
  • Pokhrel, Y. N., Y. Fan, G. Miguez-Macho, P. J.-F. Yeh, and S.-C. Han (2013) The role of groundwater in the Amazon water cycle: 3. Influence on terrestrial water storage computations and comparison with GRACE, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, 118, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50335 (pdf).
  • Fan, Y., H. Li, G. Miguez-Macho (2013) Global patterns of groundwater table depth, Science, 339 (6122): 940-943, doi:        10.1126/science.1229881, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6122/940.short
  • Taylor, R. G. et al. (2013) Groundwater and climate change, Nature Climate Change, doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1744 (pdf)
  • Miguez-Macho, G., and Y. Fan (2012a) The role of the groundwater in the Amazon water cycle: 1. Influence on seasonal streamflow, flooding and wetlands, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, 117, D15113, doi: 10.1029/2012JD017539, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JD017539/full. See model animation of the coevolution of flooding height and water table depth: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1029/2012JD017539/asset/supinfo/jgrd17939-sup-0002-ms01.gif?v=1&s=6a73b9c74f6a272581729a69cdc52f53ef25d39c
  • Miguez-Macho, G., and Y. Fan (2012b) The role of the groundwater in the Amazon water cycle: 2. Influence on seasonal soil moisture and evapotranspiration, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, 117, D15114, doi: 10.1029/2012JD017540, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JD017540/full. See model animation of the coevolution of top-2m plant available soil moisture and water table depth: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1029/2012JD017540/asset/supinfo/jgrd17940-sup-0002-ms01.gif?v=1&s=da6734aac576481ad2be3dee2232488f91d95ede
  • Kreakie B.J., Y. Fan, T.H. Keitt (2012) Enhanced Migratory Waterfowl Distribution Modeling by Inclusion of Depth to Water Table Data. PLoS ONE 7(1):e30142. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030142 (pdf)
  • Fan, Y., and G. Miguez-Macho (2011) A simple hydrologic framework for simulating wetlands in climate and earth system models. Climate Dynamics, 37: 253-278, doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0829-8 (pdf)
  • Kustu, M. D., Y. Fan, and M. Rodell (2011). Possible link between irrigation in the U.S. High Plains and increased summer streamflow in the Midwest, Water Resources Research, 47, W03522, doi:10.1029/2010WR010046. Special Issue on Steve Burges' Symposium, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010WR010046/full
  • Fan, Y., and G. Miguez-Macho (2010). Potential groundwater contribution to Amazon dry-season Evapotransporiration. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 14: 2039-2056. doi:10.5194/hess-14-2039-2010 (pdf)
  • Kustu, M. D., Y. Fan and A. Robock (2010) Large-scale water cycle perturbation from irrigation in the High Plains: A synthesis of observed streamflow changes. Journal of Hydrology 390: 222-224. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.06.045 (pdf)
  • DeAngelis, A., F. Dominguez, Y. Fan, A. Robock, M.D. Kustu, and D. Robinson (2010) Evidence of enhanced precipitation due to irrigation in the US High Plains. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, 10.1029/2010JD013892, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010JD013892/full
  • Schaller, M., and Y. Fan (2009) River basins as groundwater exporters and importers: Implications for water cycle and climate modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, 114, D04103, doi: 10.1029/2008 JD010636, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD010636/full
  • Lyon, S., F. et al. (2008) Coupling terrestrial and atmospheric water dynamics to improve prediction in a changing environment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89(9): 1275-1279, doi: 10.1175/2008BAMS2547.1 (pdf)
  • Miguez-Macho, G., H. Li, and Y. Fan (2008) Simulated water table and soil moisture climatology over North America. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 5: 663-672, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-89-5- 663 (pdf)
  • Anyah, R., C. P. Weaver, G. Miguez-Macho, Y. Fan, and A. Robock (2008) Incorporating water table dynamics in climate modeling: 3. Simulated groundwater influence on coupled land-atmosphere variability. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, 113, D07103, doi: 10.1029/2007JD009087, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007JD009087/full
  • Miguez-Macho, G., Y. Fan, C. P. Weaver, R. Walko, and A. Robock (2007) Incorporating water table dynamics in climate modeling, Part II: Formulation, validation, and simulations of soil moisture fields. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, doi:10.1029/2006JD008112, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006JD008112/full
  • Fan, Y., G. Miguez-Macho, C. P. Weaver, R. Walko, and A. Robock (2007) Incorporating water table dynamics in climate modeling, Part I: Water table observations and the equilibrium water table simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atm, doi:10.1029/2006JD008111, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006JD008111/full
  • Fan, Y., L. Toran, and R. Schlische (2007) Groundwater flow and groundwater-stream interaction in fractured and dipping sedimentary rocks: Insights from numerical models. Water Resources Research, VOL. 43, W01409, doi:10.1029/2006WR004864, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006WR004864/full

Publications Prior to Family Leave (taking 7 years off for family):

  • Moramarco, T., Y. Fan and R. L. Bras (1999) An analytical solution for channel routing with uniform lateral inflow. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 125(7): 707-713 (pdf)
  • Fan, Y. and R. L. Bras (1998) Analytical solutions to hillslope subsurface storm flow and saturation overland flow. Water Resources Research, 34(4): 921-927, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/97WR03516/pdf
  • Fan, Y., C. J. Duffy and D. S. Oliver, Jr. (1997) Density-driven groundwater flow in closed desert basins: Field investigations and numerical experiments. Journal of Hydrology, 196: 139-184 (pdf)
  • Fan, Y., E. F. Wood, M. L. Baeck and J. A. Smith (1996) The fractional coverage of rainfall over a model grid: analyses of NEXRAD radar data over the Southern Plains. Water Resources Research, 32(9): 2787-2802, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/96WR01831/abstract
  • Fan, Y. and R. L. Bras (1995) On the concept of a representative elementary area (REA) in catchment hydrology. Hydrological Processes,9:821-832 (pdf)
  • Fan, Y. and C. J. Duffy (1993) Monthly temperature and precipitation fields on a storm-facing mountain front: Statistical structure and empirical parameterization. Water Resources Research, 29(12): 4157-4166, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/93WR02141/abstract



  • Panelist for NSF, NASA, EPA; Reviewer for NSF, NASA, USGS, and UK NERC proposals
  • Reviewer for Science, Nature Geosciences, Nature Climate Change, Quaternary Science Reviews, Journal of Quaternary Science, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Geophysical Research Letters, Environmental Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Climate Dynamics, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Journal of Hydrology, Water Resources Research, Advances in Water Resources, Hydrological Processes, Ground Water, the Hydrogeology Journal, Geofluids, Hydrology and Earth System Science, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, POLARFORSCHUNG (Polar Research), Ecohydrology, WIREs-Water, etc., and USGS internal reviews
  • CUAHSI (Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc.) Board of Directors, 2011-2013
  • Hydrologic Sciences Award Committee, AGU Hydrology Section, 2011-2013
  • Co-Editor: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, EGU Journal, 2010-present
  • Associate Editor: Hydrologic Processes, 2016-present

100 1633

You are here: Home People Directory Faculty Ying Fan Reinfelder