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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Spatial Modeling of Agricultural Watersheds: Water and Nutrient Management and Targeted Conservation Effects at Field to Watershed Scales

Location: Agricultural Systems Research Unit

Title: Introduction to hydrology

Authors
item Salas, Jose -
item Govindaraju, R -
item Anderson, M -
item Arabi, Mazdak -
item Frances, F -
item Suarez, W -
item Lavado, William -
item Green, Timothy

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 31, 2012
Publication Date: January 20, 2014
Citation: Salas, J.D., Govindaraju, R., Anderson, M., Arabi, M., Frances, F., Suarez, W., Lavado, W., Green, T.R. 2014. Introduction to hydrology. In: Wang, L.K., Yang, C.T., editors. Handbook of Environmental Engineering, Volume 15: Modern Water Resources Engineering. New York, NY: Humana Press-Springer Science. p. 1-126. DOI 10.1007/978-1-62703-595-8_1.

Interpretive Summary: Hydrology deals with the occurrence, movement, and storage of water in the Earth system. The process of water circulating from precipitation in the atmosphere falling to the ground, traveling through a river basin (or through the entire earth system), and then evaporating back to the atmosphere is known as hydrologic cycle. This introductory chapter includes seven subjects: hydroclimatology, surface water hydrology, soil hydrology, glacier hydrology, watershed and river basin modeling, risk and uncertainty analysis, and data acquisition and information systems. The emphasis is on recent developments, particularly on the role that atmospheric and climatic processes play in hydrology, advances in computer simulations of watersheds, experiences in dealing with risk and uncertainty, and uses of newer technology (particularly space-borne sensors) for detecting and estimating the various components of the hydrologic cycle such as precipitation, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration.

Technical Abstract: Hydrology deals with the occurrence, movement, and storage of water in the Earth system. Hydrologic science comprises understanding the underlying physical and stochastic processes involved and estimating the quantity and quality of water in the various phases and stores. The study of hydrology also includes quantifying the effects of such human interventions on the natural system at watershed, river basin, regional, country, continent, and global scales. The process of water circulating from precipitation in the atmosphere falling to the ground, traveling through a river basin (or through the entire earth system), and then evaporating back to the atmosphere is known as hydrologic cycle. This introductory chapter includes seven subjects, namely hydroclimatology, surface water hydrology, soil hydrology, glacier hydrology, watershed and river basin modeling, risk and uncertainty analysis, and data acquisition and information systems. The emphasis is on recent developments particularly on the role that atmospheric and climatic processes play in hydrology, the advances in hydrologic modeling of watersheds, the experiences in applying statistical concepts and laws for dealing with risk and uncertainty, the challenges encountered in dealing with non-stationarity, and the use of newer technology (particularly space borne sensors) for detecting and estimating the various components of the hydrologic cycle such as precipitation, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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