Mário Franca

Prof. Dr. Mário Franca

  • KIT Campus Süd

    Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung

    Fachbereich Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft

    Geb. 10.83

    Engesserstraße 22

    D-76131 Karlsruhe

Personal details

Before joining KIT, Mário Franca held academic positions at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in The Netherlands, Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, New University of Lisbon and University of Coimbra in Portugal.

He served in many instances as consultant in hydraulic engineering and he was head of the hydraulics department in an engineering company, having participated and directed applied projects on dams, hydropower, water supply, river engineering, drainage, mining sites, emergency planning and safety of hydraulic infrastructures.

Mário Franca is an active member of IAHR, EGU and AGU. He was part of the local organizing committees of the River Flow conferences in 2006, 2014 and 2020, in Lisbon, Lausanne and Delft respectively. He is part of the leading teams of the IAHR sections on Fluvial Hydraulics, he is regularly convener of sessions at EGU General Assembly and he is associate editor of Water Resources Research (AGU).

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0265-8581


Research interests

Mário Franca's research focus on river engineering and restoration; safety of hydraulic structures; flood risk; turbulent processes in open channel flows; fluvial hydro-morphodynamics; density currents; and non-conventional hydropower production.



Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft I

River Engineering

Design of Hydraulic Structures

Landscape and River Morphology

Transport Processes in Rivers

Recent publications

Valero, Daniel, Biruk S. Belay, Antonio Moreno-Rodenas, Matthias Kramer, and Mário J. Franca.
The key role of surface tension in the transport and quantification of plastic pollution in rivers. Water Research 226 (2022): 119078.
Crosato, A., A. Grissetti-Vázquez, F. Bregoli, and M. J. Franca. Adaptation of river channels to a wetter or drier climate: Insights from the Lower Pilcomayo River, South America. Journal of Hydrology 612 (2022): 128254.
Panthi, Manisha, Aaron A. Lee, Sudesh Dahal, Amgad Omer, Mário J. Franca, and Alessandra Crosato Effects of sediment flushing operations versus natural floods on Chinook salmon survival. Scientific reports 12, no. 1 (2022): 1-17, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-19294-2.
John Conallin, Nora Van Cauwenbergh, Nicolette Duncan, Win Win Zin, Zau Lunn, Htike Htike, Greg Martin, Thom Bogaard, Mário J. Franca; Supporting evidence-based decision-making: Capacity Building through Research. Water Policy 1 May 2022; 24 (5): 827–838. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2022.265
Paudel, S., Singh, U., Crosato, A., & Franca, M. J. (2022). Effects of initial and boundary conditions on gravel-bed river channel formation. Advances in Water Resources, 104256. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ADVWATRES.2022.104256
Franca, M. J., Valero, D., & Liu, X. (2021). Turbulence and Rivers. In Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (2nd ed.). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-818234-5.00135-8
Ludwig P., Ehmele F., Franca M.J., Mohr S., Caldas-Alvarez A., Daniell J. E., Ehret U., Feldmann H., Hundhausen M., Knippertz P., Küpfer K., Kunz M., Mühr B., Pinto J. G., Quinting J., Schäfer A. M., Seidel F. & Wisotzky C.: A multi-disciplinary analysis of the exceptional flood event of July 2021 in central Europe. Part 2: Historical context and relation to climate change, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-225, in review, 2022
Mohr, S., Ehret, U., Kunz, M., Ludwig, P., Caldas-Alvarez, A., Daniell, J. E., Ehmele, F., Feldmann, H., Franca, M. J., Gattke, C., Hundhausen, M., Knippertz, P., Küpfer, K., Mühr, B., Pinto, J. G., Quinting, J., Schäfer, A. M., Scheibel, M., Seidel, F., and Wisotzky, C.: A multi-disciplinary analysis of the exceptional flood event of July 2021 in central Europe. Part 1: Event description and analysis, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-137, in review, 2022
Juez, C., & Franca, M. J. (2022). Physical Impacts of Sand Mining in Rivers and Floodplains. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, 225–230. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819166-8.00211-5
Franca, M. J., Juez, C., Kurniawan, A., & Zemann, M. (2022). Case Studies of Sediment Mining Activity. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, 239–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819166-8.00194-8


Qatarneh A., Dupont C., Michel J., Simonin L., Beda A., Ghimbeu C.M., Ruiz-Villanueva V., da Silva Perez D., Piégay H. & Franca M.J.
River driftwood pretreated via hydrothermal carbonization as a sustainable source of hard carbon for Na-ion battery anodes. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 9(6), p.106604.

Qatarneh A.F., Dupont C., Ruiz-Villanueva V., da Silva Perez D., Ashour R.M., Piégay H. & Franca M.J. Evaluating river driftwood as a feedstock for biochar production. Waste Management, 134, pp.197-205.

Calamita E., Siviglia A., Gettel G.M., Franca M.J., Winton R.S., Teodoru C.R., Schmid M. & Wehrli B. Unaccounted CO2 leaks downstream of a large tropical hydroelectric reservoir. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (25) e2026004118

Pradhan A, Marence M. & Franca M.J. The adoption of Seawater Pump Storage Hydropower Systems increases the share of renewable energy production in Small Island Developing States. Renewable Energy, Vol. 177, pp 448-460

Venuleo S., Pokrajac D., Tokyay T., Constantinescu G., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Parameterization and results of SWE for gravity currents are sensitive to the definition of depth. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 147(5), 04021016

McKie C.W., Juez C., Plumb B.D., Annable W.K., & Franca M.J. How large immobile sediments in gravel bed rivers impact sediment transport and bed morphology. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 147 (2), 04020096

Ruangpan L., Vojinovic Z., Plavšić J., Doong D.-J., Bahlmann T., Alves A., Tseng L.-H., Randelović A., Todorović A., Kocic Z., Beljinac V., Wu M.-H., Lo W.-C., Perez-Lapeña B. & Franca M.J. Incorporating stakeholders’ preferences into a multi-criteria framework for planning large-scale Nature-Based Solutions. Ambio, doi: 10.1007/s13280-020-01419-4


Stähly S., Franca M.J., Robinson C.T. & Schleiss A.J.
Erosion, transport and deposition of a sediment replenishment under flood conditions. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi: 10.1002/esp.4970

Magaju D., Cattapan A. & Franca M.J. Identification of run-of-river hydropower investments in data scarce regions using global data. Energy for Sustainable Development 58, 30-41

Plumb B.D., Juez C., Annable W.K., McKie C.W. & Franca M.J. The impact of hydrograph variability and frequency on sediment transport dynamics in a gravel-bed flume. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi: 10.1002/esp.4770

Ouro P., Juez C. & Franca M.J. Drivers for mass and momentum exchange between the main channel and river bank lateral cavities. Advances in Water Resources, 137,103511