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TERMS IN HYDROLOGY:

1. EVAPORATION: is the process by which liquid water is transformed into water vapour/gas.

2. EVAPOTRANSPIRATION: is the total amount of moisture removed by evaporation and


transpiration from vegetated land surface.

3. RIVER DISCHARGE: is the volume of water in a river passing a measuring point in a given time. It
is calculated by multiplying the velocity of the river by the cross-sectional area of the river at the
measuring point. It is measured in cubic metres per second, or cumecs.

4. INTERCEPTION: it the process by which raindrops are prevented from falling directly on to the
soil surface by the presence of a layer of vegetation. Water is intercepted by plant leaves, stems
and branches.
5. SURFACE STORAGE:
6. GROUND WATER: water that collects underground in the pore spaces in soil and rock. When it
fills all the pore spaces available, the rock or soil is said to be saturated. This water can be
transferred slowly through rock as groundwater flow or base flow.
7. CHANNEL STORAGE:
8. FLOW: movement of water from one store to another.
9. THROUGHFLOW: is the water which moves downslope through the subsoil. It is effective where
further downward percolation or infiltration is prevented by underlying impermeable rock. In
hydrological cycle it transfers water from the soil storage zone to the channel at a much slower
rate than over flow.
10. THROUGHFALL: is the water which drips off the leaves of trees during a rainstorm and it occurs
when the amount of rain which falls on the interception layer of the tree canopy has exceeded
the capacity of the leaves to hold water.
11. STEMFLOW: is the water which runs down the stems and branches of plants and trees during
and after a rainstorm in order that it can reach the ground surface. It takes place after
interception has occurred.
12. OVERLAND FLOW: A thin layer of water forms on the surface and it begins to move downslope
under gravity. Some of this water accumulates in small surface depression (surface storage) and
later overflow when full. This occur when rainfall intensity on a slope being greater than the
rate at which the water infiltrate into the soil on the slope.
13. INFILTRATION: is the passage of water into a soil, where water is drawn into the soil by gravity
and capillary attraction, infiltration rate takes place at a higher rate at the start of a rainstorm.
When do you think infiltration rate will fall?
It depends on antecedence moisture/soil moisture storage (wet vs dry soil), soil types (clay vs
sand) and roots of plant.
14. PERCOLATION: the downward vertical movement of water within a soil. The water then enters
the groundwater store. The rate of percolation depends on the size of the pores through which
the water travels. (sandy vs clayey soil)
15. BASEFLOW: Ground water can be transferred slowly through rock as groundwater flow or base
flow.
16. WATER TABLES: in a rock when all pore spaces are full, there is a zone created which is said to
be saturated (waterlogged); the upper boundary of this layer is known as the water table. The
water table will move up and down, depending on the supply of water from above and the
amount of evaporation from the rock and soil.
17. RECHARGE: the filling of water in pores where water has been dried up or extracted (taken
out) by human activities.
18. SPRINGS: emergence of underground water at the ground surface. It may take a variety of
forms:
-seepage occur where there is a patch of damp ground, a weak localized flow of water forming a
small stream, emergence of a river of some size called a resurgence.
When occur:
-permeable rock (limestones) underlines impermeable rock (clay), water pass through the
permeable rock cannot penetrate downwards any further, and so has to reemerge.
-A spring may also appear where the water table reaches the surface.
19. HYDROGRAPH: a graph which shows variations in river discharge, in cubic metres per second,
over a period of time. It can be plotted for a period ranging from a few hours to several months
or even for a year.
20. PRECIPITATION: water in any form which falls from the atmosphere to the surface of the earth.
It includes rainfall, snow, sleet and hail.
21. RAINFALL INTENSITY: refers to the rate at which rainfall falls within a given period of time. Low
intensities of rainfall, sometimes called drizzle, tend to have longer periods of duration. High
intensity rainfall periods tend to have a shorter duration, as in the case of a thunderstorm.
22. ANTECENDENT MOISTURE: the amount of moisture present in the soil at the beginning of
a storm event
23. DRAINAGE BASIN: is the catchment area from which a river system obtains its supplies of water.
Precipitation falls over the area bounded by the major watershed, and water makes its way
either over the ground surface or by the underground routes to the various streams which then
converge to form the main river.
POROSITY: refers to the amount of area between the particles of a rock, i.e. pore spaces & the
size and alignment of them determines how much water can be stored or can pass through the
rock. Saturation occurs when all the pore spaces are full of water. E.g. Porous rock –clay and not
porous e.g. clay
24. PERMEABILITY: a description of a substance that allows water to pass through it.
-porousity * see above.
-pervious –where rocks have joints/fissures along which water can flow, e.g. limestone, which
has joints and bedding planes widened by solution.