Outline of Hydrology
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Outline of Hydrology

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.

What type of thing is hydrology?

Hydrology can be described as all of the following:

Essence of hydrology

Branches of hydrology

  • 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
  • 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.

History of hydrology

History of hydrology

Things studied by hydrology

Abstract concepts in hydrology

Phenomena studied by hydrology

Water movement pathways

Water cycle (aka "hydrological cycle")

Physical things studied by hydrology

Environmental issues

Measurement tools


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

Surface water[1]

  • 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]

  • 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]

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






Infiltration/Soil Movement

Streamflow/Open channel





Hydrological transport model

Applications of hydrology

Some examples of applications of hydrology:

Hydrology organizations

Intergovernmental organizations

International research bodies

National research bodies

National and international societies

Basin- and catchment-wide overviews

  • Connected Waters Initiative, University of New South Wales[32] - Investigating and raising awareness of groundwater and water resource issues in Australia
  • Murray Darling Basin Initiative, Department of Environment and Heritage, Australia[33]

Hydrology publications

Hydrology-related journals

  • Hydrological Processes, ISSN 1099-1085 (electronic) 0885-6087 (paper), John Wiley & Sons
  • Hydrology Research, ISSN 0029-1277, IWA Publishing (formerly Nordic Hydrology)
  • Journal of Hydroinformatics, ISSN 1464-7141, IWA Publishing
  • Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, ISSN 0733-9496, ASCE Publication
  • Journal of Hydrology
  • Water Research
  • Water Resources Research
  • Hydrological Sciences Journal - Journal of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) ISSN 0262-6667 (Print), ISSN 2150-3435 (Online)

Persons influential in the field of hydrology

Allied sciences

Hydrology lists

  • 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

Other water-related fields
  • Oceanography – more general study of water in the oceans and estuaries.
  • Meteorology – more general study of the atmosphere and of weather, including precipitation as snow and rainfall.
  • Limnology – study of inland waters (running and standing waters, both fresh and saline, natural or man-made), including their biological, chemical, physical, geological, and other attributes.[34] This includes the study of lakes and ponds, rivers, springs, streams and wetlands.
  • Water resources – sources of water that are useful or potentially useful. Hydrology studies the availability of those resources, but usually not their uses.


  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 .
  3. ^ "International Hydrological Programme (IHP)". IHP. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "International Water Management Institute (IWMI)". IWMI. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ "UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education". UNIESCO-IHE. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "CEH Website". Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Cranfield Water Science Institute". Cranfield University. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "Eawag aquatic research". Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "Professur für Hydrologie". University of Freiburg. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "Water Resources of the United States". USGS. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ "Office of Hydrologic Development". National Weather Service. NOAA. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "Hydrologic Engineering Center". US Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ "Hydrologic Research Center". Hydrologic Research Center. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "NOAA Economics and Social Sciences". NOAA Office of Program Planning and Integration. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ "Center for Natural Hazard and Disasters Research". University of Oklahoma. 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ "National Hydrology Research Centre (Saskatoon, SK)". Environmental Science Centres. Environment Canada. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "National Institute of Hydrology (Roorkee), India". NIH Roorkee. Archived from the original on 19 September 2000. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ "Hydrogeology Division". The Geological Society of America. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ "Welcome to AGU's Hydrology (H) Section". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ "National Ground Water Association". Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ "American Water Resources Association". 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ "CUAHSI". Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)". Associations. International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ "International Association of Hydrological Sciences". Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "International Commission on Statistical Hydrology". STAHY. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^ Deutsche Hydrologische Gesellschaft, accessed 2 September 2013
  27. ^ Nordic Association for Hydrology, accessed 2 September 2013
  28. ^ "The British Hydrological Society". Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ [Hydrological Commission] (in Russian). Russian Geographical Society. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  30. ^ "Hydroweb". The International Association for Environmental Hydrology. Retrieved 2013.
  31. ^ "International Association of Hydrogeologists". Retrieved 2014.
  32. ^ "Connected Waters Initiative (CWI)". University of New South Wales. Retrieved 2013.
  33. ^ "Integrated Water Resource Management in Australia: Case studies - Murray-Darling Basin initiative". Australian Government, Department of the Environment. Australian Government. Retrieved 2014.
  34. ^ Wetzel, R.G. (2001) Limnology: Lake and River Ecosystems, 3rd ed. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-744760-1

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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