Baylor University
Department of Geology
College of Arts and Sciences

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Dr. Peter Allen

Contact Information
Dr. Peter Allen
Department of Geology
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97354
Waco TX 76798

Phone (254) 710-2189
Fax (254) 710-2673

Room E416, Baylor Sciences Building



• Urban Environmental Geology

• Engineering Geology

• Hydrology

Research Interests

• Impact of urbanization on stream channels; erosion degradation and aggradation of streams.

• Stream-groundwater interactions and water budget models.

• Recharge mechanisms and bypass flow in clay shale terrain.

• Field techniques for assessment of geological processes as sedimentation and erosion.

River Research: For the past 30 years have evaluated stream channel stability focusing on hydraulic geometry, stable channel dimensions, aggradation, degradation, suspended load and bed load transport, and related bank stability;recharge and water budget calculations. I have monitored and evaluated rivers and reservoirs throughout Texas in terms of erosion and sedimentation and water budget.





Clients include: City of Richardson, City of Dallas, City of Grand Prairie, City of Carrollton, City of Austin, City of Cedar Hill, City of Farmers Branch, City of McKinney, City of Bedford, City of Arlington, City of Euless, City of Lewisville and Engineering Firms of Alan Plummer and Associates, Halff and Associates, HDR, Nathan Maier and Associates Tarrant Regional Water District, Freeze and Nichols, Texas State Highway Department, among others.


Work has lead to the development of field erosion assessment techniques (submerged jet test developed by Greg Hanson ARS), refinement of rock erosion rates, modeling procedures developed with Dr. Jeff Arnold (ARS) using the SWAT model to assess time rates of downcutting in urban watersheds, and new procedures for analyzing water budgets for assessimg impacts of development and viability of wetlands; baseflow filter for assessment of surface/groundwater interaction. Development of new interactive channel degradation Model SWAT-DEG; a contiuous simulation model designed to assess time rates of stream degradation in urban watersheds with Dr. Jeff Arnold, USDA.

Sedimentation in Rivers, Floodwater Structures and Reservoirs: For the past 20 years I have worked with John Dunbar where we have surveyed over 30 floodwater structures throughout Texas and Oklahoma for the State of Texas, Federal Government and private clients assessing sedimentation volume and in some cases rates. We have surveyed large reservoirs in Texas including Cedar Creek, Eagle Mountain, Lake Waco, and done work in numerous others including coring, core descriptions and Cesium 137 analysis. Much of the large reservoir work has been done under contract with the U.S. Dept. Agriculture, National Ressource Conservation Service, Texas Water Development Board or the Tarrrant Count Regional Water District. Recently we have been involved with assessing river sedimentation in cascading low water dam systems. Survey techniques include use of an acoustical sub-bottom profiler developed by John and Paul Higley of SDI, Plano, Texas. Differential GPS coupled with a tuned five transducer system allows us to see the top and bottom of sediment within streams, lakes, floodwater structures and reservoirs, plot the thickness, and compute the volume of sedimentation. New vibracore techniques we developed with SDI allow us to collect relatively undisturbed samples for verifying the depth of sediment. Core description and subsampling techniques have also been developed to look at the sediment for categorization of properties, chemistry, and erosion flux with Cesium 137.

Work with Dr. John Dunbar on assessing reservoir sedimentation rates.

Current Research:

• Monitoring bank erosion in cohesive and non cohesive channels and comparing results with submerged jet tests to aid in developing a channel erosion model based on continuous simulation of flow, bank soil water balance, flow proportional tractive force, and subaerial processes (J. Arnold, USDA/ARS)

Newly developed Beta SWAT-DEG model for assessing channel degradation and widening.

Students are actively involved in river assessments and learn real techniques in the field on projects throughout Texas.


• Proportioning landscape elements (divide, hillslope, valley bottom) into basin scale hydrologic models for enhanced water balance and sediment and nutrient routing (Drs. M. Volk, Helmholtz Institute, Leipzig; J. Arnold, and D. Bosch, ARS/USDA)


Working with Dr. Jeff Arnold on developing new subroutines in the SWAT Watershed Model. Dr. Arnold is visiting professor at Baylor and works nearby at the ARS Lab in Temple, Texas. Dr. Arnold is lead scientist on the SWAT Model.


Sediment Budgets and erosion assessment of large watersheds using rapid geomorphic assessment techniques and modeling.

• Currently directing PhD student from Kenya on submerged jet testing and evaluation of jet charactristics with different sediment sizes, and development of an erosion nomograph based on tensile strength, bulk density, jet erosion, and antecedent moisture conditions for use in river erosion studies and models.

Field and Lab erosion testing and sampling

New portable erosion testing submerged jet designed at Baylor after Greg Hanson, ARS.

Selected Recent Publications

Allen, P.M., Capello, S., Coffman, D., and Arnold, J., 2010. Comparison of Submerged Jet testing to Field Rates in Clay and Sand Channels, Blackland Prairie, Ecosystem, Texas. (In) Proceedings of the 4th Joint Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference and the 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Las Vegas NV, June 27-July 1st, 2010.

Bosch, D.D., J.G. Arnold, J.G., M. Volk, and P.M. Allen. 2009 Simulation of a low gradient Coastal Plain watershed using the SWAT Landscape Model. (Submitted for Publication ASABE Journal)

Narasimhan, B., R. Srinivasan, S.T. Bednarz, M. Ernst, and P.M.Allen, 2009. A comprehensive modeling approach for reservoir water quality assessment and management due to non-point source pollution.(Accepted for Publication ASABE Journal)

Allen, P., Arnold, J, Skipwith, W. 2008. Prediction of channel degradation rates in urbanizing watersheds. Hydrological sciences Bulletin-des Sciences Hyrologiques, 53(5), pp 1013-1028.

C. Shanti, P.M. Allen, R. Muttiah, and J.G. Arnold, 2008. Regional estimation of baseflow for the coterminous United States by hydrologic landscape regions. Journal of Hydrology. Accepted for Publication.

Duke, J.R., J.D. White, S.J. Prochnow, L. Zygo, P.M. Allen, and Muttiah, R.S., 2007. The use of remote sensing and modeling to detect small dam influences on land-use changes along downstream riparian zones. International Journal of Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology. 7:23-35.

Volk. M., Allen, P.M., Bosch, D., and Arnold, J.G., 2007. Watershed configuration and simulation of landscape processes with the SWAT Model. 2007. MODSIM Conference, Proceedings Paper and Talk, University of Canterbury, ChristChurch, New Zealand.

Duke, J.R., White, J.D., Allen, P.M., Muttiah, R.S., 2006: Riparian influences on hyporheic-zone formation downstream of a small dam in the Blackland Prairie Region of Texas: Hydrological Processes, v. 20. (online).

Harmel, R.D., Richardson, C.W., King, K.W., and Allen, P.M., 2006, Runoff and soil loss relationships for the Texas Blackland Prairies ecosystem: Journal of Hydrology, v. 331, p. 471-483.

Alvarez, J., Skipwith, W. and Allen, P.M., 2006. River effects at highway crossings due to watershed changes: Paper and Abstract: Texas Section ASCE.

Chen, P.-Y., Arnold, J.G., Srinivasan, R., Volk, M., and Allen, P.M., 2006, Surveying ground water level using remote sensing: An example over seco and Hondo Creek watershed in Texas: Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, v. 26, no. 2, p. 1-8.

Skipwith, W., Alvarez, J. and Allen, P.M. 2006. Bentle Branch Storm Water and Stream Bank Stability Study. Proceedings, Texas Section ASCE.

Narasimhan, B., Allen, P.M., R. Srinivasan, J. Arnold, and J. Dunbar. 2006. Channel Erosion and Best Management Practice Simulation using SWAT. Amer. Soc. Agricultural Engineers National Convention. ASABE, San Antonio, Texas.

Allen, P.M., Harmel, D., Arnold, J., Yelderman, J., and Plant, B., 2005. Field Data and Flow System Response in Clay (Vertisol) Terrain. Hydrological Processes, Vol. 19: 2719-2736.

Recent Presentations

Allen, P.M., Capello, S., Coffman, D., and Arnold, J., 2010. Comparison of Submerged Jet testing to Field Rates in Clay and Sand Channels, Blackland Prairie, Ecosystem, Texas. In Proceedings of the 4th Joint Federal Interagency Hydrolocic Modeling Conference and the 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Las Vegas NV, June 27-July 1st, 2010.

Allen, P.M., Arnold, J.G. Capello, S., Dunbar, J. 2007. Rapid Geomorphic Assessment of erosion Volumes for SWAT Calibration in Large Watersheds. 4th Internaional SWAT Conference in DELFT, The Netherlands, IHE, UNESCO. Abs and Presentation. (Conference attended by 150 people from 34 countries)

Allen, P.M., 2007. Anatomy of an Urban Stream. Abs. with program TRRMS Symposium on Urban Hydrology. Stephen F. Autin University, Nacadoches, Texas.

Capello, S. Allen, P.M., Arnold, J.G. 2007. Streambank ersion assessment using cumulative tractive force and a submerged jet test device in urbanizing clay watersheds. Abs. with program, Geological Society of America National Convention, Denver Colorado.

Working Paper on Channel Erosion for SWAT Modelers Workshop in POTSDAM, GERMANY, October 2006. In charge of International Working Group for SWAT Model on Channel Erosion Subroutine. Gave two presentations to Modelers during week long conference.

Dunbar, J.A. and Allen, P.M., 2006, Long-term sediment yield and the trap efficiency of SCS flood control reservoirs in the Texas Blackland Prairie: (abstract) USDA-CREES conference in San Antonio, Texas, Feb., 2006.

Allen, P.M., John Dunbar, B. Narasimhan, R. Srinivasan, Shane Prochnow, and L. Zygo., 2006. Assessment of Erosion Volumes for Model Calibration in Large Watersheds: What is Reality for Reservoir Sedimentation Rates?. Abstract . TRRMS, Austin, Texas.

Allen, P.M., 2006. Urban Geology: Quantifying Geological Descriptions into Guidelines and Ordinances. Amercian Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention Houston Texas. Abstract.

Narasimhan, B., Allen, P.M., R. Srinivasan, J. Arnold, and J. Dunbar. 2006. Channel Erosion and Best Management Practice Simulation using SWAT. Amer. Soc. Agricultural and Biological Engineers National Convention, San Antonio, TX.

Urban Geology: Quantifying Geological Descriptions into Guidelines and Ordinances. Abs. with Program. AAPG, Houston, Texas. April 11. 2006.