Outline of hydrology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to hydrology:

Hydrology – study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.

Essence of hydrology[edit]

Main article: Hydrology

Branches of hydrology[edit]

  • Hydrometry – the measurement of the different components of the hydrologic cycle
  • Chemical hydrology – the study of the chemical characteristics of water
  • Ecohydrology – the study of interactions between organisms and the hydrologic cycle
  • Hydrogeology – the study of the presence and movement of water in aquifers
  • Hydroinformatics – the adaptation of information technology to hydrology and water resources applications
  • Hydrometeorology – the study of the transfer of water and energy between land and water body surfaces and the lower atmosphere
  • Isotope hydrology – the study of the isotopic signatures of water
  • Surface hydrology – the study of hydrologic processes that operate at or near the Earth's surface
  • Catchment hydrology – study of the governing processes in a given hydrologically-defined catchment

History of hydrology[edit]

Main article: History of hydrology

Water movement pathways[edit]

Above ground

On ground

Below ground

Further information: Hydrological phenomenon

Measurement tools[edit]


  • Aquifer characterization
  • Flow direction
  • Piezometer - groundwater pressure and, by inference, groundwater depth (see: aquifer test)
  • Conductivity, storativity, transmisivity
  • Geophysical methods

Surface water[1][edit]

  • Water level
  • Channel shape
  • Discharge


  • Precipitation[1]
  • Rain gauge – rainfall depth (unit) and intensity (unit time−1)
  • Disdrometer – raindrop size, total precipitation depth and intensity
  • Doppler weather radar – raindrop size, total precipitation depth and intensity, rain cloud reflectivity converted to precipitation intensity through calibration to rain gauges
  • Wind profiler – precipitation vertical and horizontal motion, vertical cross-section of reflectivity and typing
  • Frozen precipitation (on ground)
  • Mean windspeed and direction
  • Mean air temperature
  • Humidity
  • Air pressure
  • Heat flux
  • Cloudiness/Sunshine
  • Evapotranspiration [2]
  • Water budget method
  • Water vapor transfer method
  • Component analysis
  • Large-scale

Soil/porous media[1][edit]

  • Bulk density & porosity
  • Matric potential
  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Disc permeameter – measures soil hydraulic conductivity
  • Rainfall simulator – measures output through the application of constant input ("rain") in a sealed area
  • Slug test – addition or removal of water and monitors the time until return to predisturbance level
  • Piezometer
  • Soil moisture content (water volume percentage)

Water quality[1][edit]

  • Conductivity
  • pH
  • Dissolved oxygen (DO)
  • Turbidity
  • Water clarity
  • Bed load
  • Erosion/deposition






Infiltration/Soil Movement

Streamflow/Open channel





Persons influential in the field of hydrology[edit]

Hydrology scholars[edit]

Ven Te Chow, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering, University of Illinois. Most noted for the 1964 compendium of water resources technology and methods titled "Handbook of Applied Hydrology", published by McGraw-Hill Book Company. Library of Congress Catalogue number 63-13931.

Environmental issues[edit]

Allied sciences[edit]

Hydrology lists[edit]

  • Drainage basins by area – largest hydrologically defined watersheds in the world
  • Floods – chronological and geographic list of major floods worldwide
  • Waterways – worldwide listing of waterbodies classified as rivers, canals, estuarys, and firths

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Western, Andrew W. (2005). "Principles of Hydrological Measurements". In Anderson, Malcolm G. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences 1. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons Inc. pp. 75–94. 
  2. ^ Shuttleworth, W. James (January–February 2008). "Evapotranspiration Measurement Methods" (PDF). Southwest Hydrology (Tucson, AZ) 7 (1): 22–23. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 

External links[edit]