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    Description

    This is a primer about hydrology, the science of water. Watersheds are the basic land unit for water resource management and their delineation, importance, and variation are explained and illustrated. The hydrologic cycle and its components (precipitation, evaporation, transpiration, soil water, groundwater, and streamflow) which collectively provide a foundation for how landscapes and water interact are discussed at length. Important hydrologic concepts and methods are described in detail but primarily within the context of forested watersheds since most of the nation's fresh water originates from forest lands. The contents of this paper are designed to provide fundamental hydrologic principles to both citizens and policy makers, with the intention of helping to guide informed watershed management activities.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Edwards, Pamela J.; Williard, Karl W.J.; Schoonover, Jon E. 2015. Fundamentals of watershed hydrology. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education. 154: 3-20.

    Keywords

    forest hydrology, hydrologic cycle, watersheds, stream types, streamflow generation, groundwater aquifers, hydrograph components, water budget

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