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Hydrology is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets

including the hydrologic cycle, water resourcesand environmental watershed sustainability. A practitioner of
hydrology is a hydrologist, working within the fields of earth or environmental science, physical
geography, geology or civil and environmental engineering.[1]
Hydrology is subdivided into surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology (hydrogeology), and marine hydrology.
Domains of hydrology includehydrometeorology, surface hydrology, hydrogeology,drainage basin management
and water quality, where water plays the central role.
Oceanography and meteorology are not included because water is only one of many important aspects within those
Hydrological research can inform environmental engineering, policy and planning.
The term hydrology is from Greek: ὕδωρ, hydōr, "water"; and λόγος, logos, "study".


Chemical hydrology is the study of the chemical characteristics of water.

Ecohydrology is the study of interactions between organisms and the hydrologic cycle.

Hydrogeology is the study of the presence and movement of groundwater.

Hydroinformatics is the adaptation of information technology to hydrology and water resources applications.

Hydrometeorology is the study of the transfer of water and energy between land and water body surfaces
and the lower atmosphere.

Isotope hydrology is the study of the isotopic signatures of water.

Surface hydrology is the study of hydrologic processes that operate at or near Earth's surface.

Drainage basin management covers water-storage, in the form of reservoirs, and flood-protection.

Water quality includes the chemistry of water in rivers and lakes, both of pollutants and natural solutes.

See also

Oceanography is the more general study of water in the oceans and estuaries.

Meteorology is the more general study of the atmosphere and of weather, including precipitation as snow
and rainfall.

such as erosion or sedimentation.  Designing riparian restoration projects.  Part of the hazard module in catastrophe modeling.  Analyzing the impacts of antecedent moisture on sanitary sewer systems. geological. Limnology is the study of lakes. landslide and drought risk.  Providing drinking water. both fresh and saline. It covers the biological.  Predicting geomorphologic changes. natural or man-made).[1] Groundwater hydrology (hydrogeology) considers quantifying groundwater flow and solute transport.  Assessing the impacts of natural and anthropogenic environmental change on water resources.  Designing bridges. but usually not their uses. and other attributes of all inland waters (running and standing waters. Applications  Determining the water balance of a region. [2]  Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful.  Determining the agricultural water balance. Measurements here can be made using a piezometer. physical. There are a number of geophysical . Groundwater Ground water is water beneath Earth's surface.  Assessing contaminant transport risk and establishing environmental policy guidelines. storativity and transmisivity.  Mitigating and predicting flood.  Designing irrigation schemes and managing agricultural productivity. Hydrology studies the availability of those resources. Aquifers are also described in terms of hydraulic conductivity. groundwater depth (see: aquifer test). [citation needed] Problems in describing the saturated zone include the characterization of aquifers in terms of flow direction.  Designing dams for water supply or hydroelectric power generation.  Real-time flood forecasting and flood warning. chemical. groundwater pressure and. often pumped for drinking water. by inference.  Designing sewers and urban drainage system.

The infiltration capacity. reducing compaction and other processes. and tracer techniques.[5]:250–275 Soil moisture Soil moisture can be measured in various ways. depends on several factors. Some of the water is absorbed. increasing infiltration. rain rate estimation. Dry soil can allow rapid infiltration by capillary action. Methods for measuring flow once water has reached a river include the stream gauge (see: discharge). this force diminishes as the soil becomes wet. A direct measurement of evaporation can be obtained using Symon's evaporation pan. by capacitance probe. radar for cloud properties. Hydrology considers evaporation of various forms: from water surfaces. sediment transport and erosion. The layer that is already saturated provides a resistance that is proportional to its thickness. Surface water flow Hydrology considers quantifying surface water flow and solute transport. There are also problems in characterising the vadose zone (unsaturated zone). the maximum rate at which the soil can absorb water. hail and snow detection. and the rest percolates down to the water table. Surface cover increases capacity by retarding runoff.methods[3] for characterising aquifers. which can be measured by a sling psychrometer. Other methods include solute sampling and geophysical methods. time domain reflectometer or Tensiometer. Precipitation and evaporation In some considerations. Groundwater/surface water interactions in streams and aquifers can be complex and the direction of net water flux (into surface water or into the aquifer) may vary spatially along a stream channel and over time at any particular location. Higher temperatures reduce viscosity. satellite – rainy area identification. hail and ice and can relate to dew. Detailed studies of evaporation involve boundary layer considerations as well as momentum. It is also affected by the presence of snow. One of the important areas of hydrology is the interchange between rivers and aquifers. while that plus the depth of water above the soil provides the driving force (hydraulic head). Other topics include chemical transport as part of surface water. mist and fog. although the treatment of flows in large rivers is sometimes considered as a distinct topic of hydraulics or hydrodynamics. Compaction reduces the porosity and the pore sizes. Rain gauge for routine accurate measurements of rain and snowfall. rain rate estimation. Precipitation can be measured in various ways: disdrometer for precipitation characteristics at a fine time scale. as transpiration from plant surfaces in natural and agronomic ecosystems. Remote sensing . Surface water flow can include flow both in recognizable river channels and otherwise. It is partly affected by humidity. soil moisture. land-cover/land-use. depending on the relationship between stream stage and groundwater levels.[4] Infiltration Main article: Infiltration (hydrology) Infiltration is the process by which water enters the soil. hydrology is thought of as starting at the land-atmosphere boundary [citation needed] and so it is important to have adequate knowledge of both precipitation and evaporation. Evaporation is an important part of the water cycle. heat flux and energy budgets.

surface moisture. Two major types of hydrological models can be distinguished:[citation needed]  Models based on data. industrial and residential demands. water quality). Modeling Hydrological models are simplified. Information can include clouds. They are primarily used for hydrological prediction and for understanding hydrological processes. Commonly used techniques are regression. Other quantities of interest include the average flow in a river. in basins where no or only very few data exist. conceptual representations of a part of the hydrologic cycle. studies of water quality concern organic and inorganic compounds. and system identification. using mathematical and statistical concepts to link a certain input (for instance rainfall) to the model output (for instance runoff). and both dissolved and sediment material. [citation needed] Sources include land based sensors.Remote sensing of hydrologic processes can provide information of various types.transfer functions. vegetation cover. in which analyses take place on-site. in a year or by season. Measurements of water quality may involve either in-situ methods.e. When making assessments of how often relatively rare events will occur. The simplest of these models may be linear models. These models are black box systems. Statistical hydrology[edit] By analyzing the statistical properties of hydrologic records. Statistical information is utilized to formulate operating rules for large dams forming part of systems which include agricultural. In addition. airborne sensors and satellite sensors. analyses are made in terms of the return period of such events. water quality is affected by the interaction of dissolved oxygen with organic material and various chemical transformations that may take place. . within the general field of scientific modeling. such as rainfall or river flow. One of the major current concerns in hydrologic research is "Prediction in Ungauged Basins" (PUB). and laboratory-based analyses and may include microbiological analysis. i. often automatically. These estimates are important for engineers and economists so that proper risk analysis can be performed to influence investment decisions in future infrastructure and to determine the yield reliability characteristics of water supply systems. hydrologists can estimate future hydrologic phenomena. Water quality Main article: Water quality In hydrology. Integrating measurement and modeling  Budget analyses  Parameter estimation  Scaling in time and space  Data assimilation  Quality control of data – see for example Double mass analysis Prediction[edit] Observations of hydrologic processes are used to make predictions of the future behaviour of hydrologic systems (water flow.

and applied as a small discharge to each plant or adjacent to it. and channel flow. borderstrip or basin irrigation. Initial input to receiving waters may arise from a point source discharge or a line source or area source. [28] . pesticides. such models contain representations of surface runoff. subsurface flow. which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area. in order to wet it and infiltrate into the soil. irrigation also has a few other uses in crop production. in a predetermined pattern. Additionally. Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the land or soil. Deterministic hydrology models can be subdivided into single-event models and continuous simulation models.. such as surface runoff. but they can be far more complicated. Drip irrigation. Since the 1960s rather complex mathematical models have been developed. Transport Main article: Hydrologic transport model Water movement is a significant means by which other material. and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. The most common pollutant classes analyzed are nutrients. facilitated by the availability of high speed computers.  Models based on process descriptions. Typically. disposal of sewage. which include protecting plants against frost. maintenance of landscapes. These models try to represent the physical processes observed in the real world. Surface irrigation can be subdivided into furrow. evapotranspiration. Historically. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage. Localized irrigation is a system where water is distributed under low pressure through a piped network. It is often called flood irrigation when the irrigation results in flooding or near flooding of the cultivated land. boulders or pollutants.but it is common to deploy non-linear components to represent some general aspects of a catchment's response without going deeply into the real physical processes involved. flood. Irrigation systems are also used for dust suppression. spray or microsprinkler irrigation and bubbler irrigation belong to this category of irrigation methods. gravel.[3] In contrast. Recent research in hydrological modeling tries to have a more global approach to the understanding of the behavior of hydrologic systems to make better predictions and to face the major challenges in water resources management. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops. Types of Irrigation Surface irrigation Main article: Surface irrigation In surface (furrow. such as soil.[1]suppressing weed growth in grain fields[2] and preventing soil consolidation. and in mining. An example of such an aspect is the well-known behavior that a catchment will respond much more quickly and strongly when it is already wet than when it is dry. total dissolved solids and sediment.agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed or dryland farming. water moves across the surface of agricultural lands. are transported from place to place. this has been the most common method of irrigating agricultural land and still is in most parts of the world. or level basin) irrigation systems. These models are known as deterministic hydrology models.

irrigation. or impact mechanism. and land application of waste water. . Newer systems have drop sprinkler heads as shown in the image that follows. pastures.Subsurface Textile Irrigation (SSTI) is a technology designed specifically for subsurface irrigation in all soil textures from desert sands to heavy clays. a drip line running along that base. thus limiting evaporative losses. As the tubing is wound on the drum powered by the irrigation water or a small gas engine. Drip (or micro) irrigation. or guns mounted overhead on permanently installed risers is often referred to as a solid-set irrigation system. The field water efficiency of drip irrigation is typically in the range of 80 to 90 percent when managed correctly. When the sprinkler arrives back at the reel the system shuts off. also known as trickle irrigation. usually with nozzle diameters in the range of 0. Unlike standard drip irrigation. Center pivot irrigation is a form of sprinkler irrigation consisting of several segments of pipe (usually galvanized steel or aluminium) joined together and supported bytrusses. This type of system is known to most people as a "waterreel" traveling irrigation sprinkler and they are used extensively for dust suppression. In this system water falls drop by drop just at the position of roots. the spacing of emitters in the drip pipe is not critical as the geotextile moves the water along the fabric up to 2 m from the dripper. drop by drop. and cemeteries unattended. since evaporation and runoff are minimized.5 to 1. a narrow impermeable layer on top of the geotextile (see diagram). finally. functions as its name suggests. except that they generally operate at very high pressures of 40 to 130 lbf/in² (275 to 900 kPa) and flows of 50 to 1200 US gal/min (3 to 76 L/s). Rotors can be designed to rotate in a full or partial circle. This method can be the most water-efficient method of irrigation. Water is delivered at or near the root zone of plants. In sprinkler or overhead irrigation. Guns are used not only for irrigation. These systems are found and used in all parts of the world and allow irrigation of all types of terrain. Most of these utilize a length of polyethylene tubing wound on a steel drum. sprays. the sprinkler is pulled across the field. a layer ofgeotextile on top of the drip line and.[30]The system moves in a circular pattern and is fed with water from the pivot point at the center of the arc. Sprinklers can also be mounted on moving platforms connected to the water source by a hose. mounted on wheeled towers with sprinklers positioned along its length. gear drive.9 inches (10 to 50 mm). water is piped to one or more central locations within the field and distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns. A typical subsurface textile irrigation system has an impermeable base layer (usuallypolyethylene or polypropylene). [29] if managed properly. Guns are similar to rotors. Automatically moving wheeled systems known as traveling sprinklers may irrigate areas such as small farms. A system utilizing sprinklers. parks. Most center pivot systems now have drops hanging from a u-shaped pipe attached at the top of the pipe with sprinkler head that are positioned a few feet (at most) above the crop. sports fields. Higher pressure sprinklers that rotate are called rotors and are driven by a ball drive. but also for industrial applications such as dust suppression and logging.

This system is less expensive to install than a center pivot. wheel line. so that the sprinklers are moved to a different position across the field. and then rolled to a new strip. and the assembly rolled either by hand or with a purpose-built mechanism. the hose is removed. Water is supplied at one end using a large hose. rolling the whole wheel line. are coupled together. but much more labor-intensive to operate .5 m diameter permanently affixed to its midpoint. The pipe doubles both as water transport and as an axle for rotating all the wheels. and sprinklers along its length. The hose is reconnected. A drive system (often found near the centre of the wheel line) rotates the clamped-together pipe sections as a single axle. must be drained.Irrigation by Lateral move (side roll. The process is repeated in a pattern until the whole field has been does not travel automatically across the field: it applies water in a stationary strip. Most systems utilize 4 or 5-inch (130 mm) diameter aluminum pipe. Manual adjustment of individual wheel positions may be necessary if the system becomes misaligned. each with a wheel of about 1. wheelmove)[31][32][edit] A series of pipes. After sufficient irrigation has been applied to one strip of the field. . the water drained from the system.