Dr. R.E.M. (Riccardo) Riva


I obtained a MSc degree in Physics at the University of Milano in 1999 and a PhD at TU Delft in 2004. I have been working as a researcher at University of Trieste, at University of Milano, at Utrecht University and at TU Delft, where I became Assistant Professor in 2011.
Since 2013 I am a Vidi laureate of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), with a project about contemporary sea level change.

Research themes

  • Sea level, ice and climate change
  • Mass redistribution and climate change
  • Volcano and earthquake deformation


I am specialized in the study of the Earth's dynamic behaviour through the combination of model predictions and space geodetic observations. In particular, I have been doing research into the elastic and viscoelastic deformation of the solid earth, its effect on gravity and its relation with sea level change.

Keywords: Sea level change, Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), ice mass change, geocentre motion, co- and post-seismic deformation, lithosphere rheology, sea level fingerprints.

Key publications

  • Dangendorf, S., M. Marcos, A. Mueller, E. Zorita, R. Riva, K. Berk, and J. Jensen, Detecting anthropogenic footprints in sea level rise, Nature Comm. 6, 7849, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8849 (2015). http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150729/ncomms8849/full/ncomms8849.html
  • Grinsted, A., S. Jevrejeva, R.E.M. Riva, D. Dahl-Jensen, Sea level rise projections for Northern Europe under RCP8.5, Climate Research 64 (1), 15-23 (2015). http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/cr/v64/n1/p15-23/
  • Wouters, B., J. A. Bonin, D. P. Chambers, R. E. M. Riva, I. Sasgen, and J. Wahr (2014), GRACE, time-varying gravity, Earth system dynamics and climate change, Rep. Prog. Phys., 77, 116801, doi:10.1088/0034-4885/77/11/116801
  • Richter, K., R.E.M. Riva, and H. Drange, Impact of self-attraction and loading effects induced by shelf mass loading on projected regional sea level rise, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 1144-1148 (2013).
  • Han, S.-C., R. Riva, J. Sauber, and E. Okal, Source parameter inversion for recent great earthquakes from a decade-long observation of global gravity fields, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 1-28 (2013).
  • Slangen, A.B.A., C.A. Katsman, R.S.W van de Wal, L.L.A. Vermeersen, and R.E.M. Riva, Towards regional projections of twenty-first century sea-level change based on IPCC SRES scenarios. Climate Dynamics 38 (5-6), 1191-1209 (2012). http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-011-1057-6
  • Riva, R.E.M., J.L. Bamber, D.A. Lavallée, and B. Wouters, Sea‐level fingerprint of continental water and ice mass change from GRACE, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L19605 (2010).
  • Bamber, J.L., R.E.M. Riva, L.L.A. Vermeersen, and A. M. LeBroq. Reassessment of the potential contribution to sea level rise from a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Science, 324, 901 (2009).
  • Riva, R.E.M., B.C. Gunter, T.J. Urban, L.L.A. Vermeersen, R.C. Lindenbergh, M.M. Helsen, J.L. Bamber, R.S.W. van de Wal, M.R. van den Broeke, and B.E. Schutz. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment over Antarctica from ICESat and GRACE satellite data, Earth Plan. Sci. Lett., 288, 516-523 (2009).
  • Riva, R.E.M., and R. Govers. Relating viscosities from post-seismic relaxation to a realistic viscosity structure for the lithosphere, Geophys. J. Int., 176, 614-624 (2009).

More publications

Educational activities

BSc Applied Earth Sciences:
AESB1320-15, Mechanics I (Responsible Instructor)

MSc Geoscience and Remote Sensing:
CIE4607, Sea level, oceans and bathymetry (Responsible Instructor)
CIE4610, Mass transport in the Earth’s system (Instructor)

Delftx MOOC:
CTB3300WCx, Introduction to water and climate (Instructor)


PI: “Multi-Scale and self-consistent observations of recent Sea Level change (MuSSeL)”, NWO/ALW Vidi grant (2013-2018).

Co-I (PI Henk Dijkstra): “Stability of Caribbean coastal Ecosystems uNder future Extreme Sea level changes (SCENES)”, NWO/ALW grant (2015-2018).

Co-I (PI Rob Govers): “New constraints on lithosphere rheology from the gravitational signature of postseismic deformation”, NWO/NSO grant (2009-2015).

Riccardo Riva

Assistant Professor