What Is Hydrology
Hydrology is the science that encompasses the occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of the waters of the earth and their relationship with the environment within each phase of the hydrologic cycle. The hydrologic cycle is a continuous process by which water is purified by evaporation and transported from the earth’s surface (including the oceans) to the atmosphere and back to the land and oceans. All of the physical, chemical and biological processes involving water as it travels its various paths in the atmosphere, over and beneath the earth’s surface and through growing plants, are of interest to those who study the hydrologic cycle. There are many pathways the water may take in its continuous cycle of falling as rainfall or snowfall and returning to the atmosphere. It may be captured for millions of years in polar ice caps. It may flow to rivers and finally to the sea. It may soak into the soil to be evaporated directly from the soil surface as it dries or be transpired
Hydrology is the study of water on Earth. Hydrologists look at the properties of water, the ways in which it is distributed, and the effects of water on the Earth’s surface, with a goal of understanding the complex and interconnected systems which dictate life on Earth. This field does not generally include the world’s oceans; rather, they are studied by oceanographers, although a hydrologist may sometimes be asked to analyze water samples from the ocean. As you might imagine, hydrology has a number of applications. Hydrologists work on flood control programs, irrigation schemes, and hydroelectric power generation plans. They also research water for both domestic and industrial supply, and they often make up part of a team on projects ranging from construction of skyscrapers to pollution remediation. Many hydrologists choose a unique area of focus in their work, becoming specialists on issues like groundwater contamination and river flow. This field is also quite ancient.
Hydrology is the study of the properties, distribution and effects of water on the Earth’s soil, rocks and atmosphere. It also encompasses the study of the hydrologic cycle of precipitation, runoff, infiltration, storage, and evaporation, including the physical, biological and chemical reaction of water with the earth and its relation to life. Hydrologists use science and math to solve water-related problems, including problems of quantity, quality and availability. For example, they may work to find subsurface reservoirs to be used for public drinking water supplies or irrigation water for farms; they may be involved in flood control or soil erosion and sedimentation issues; or they may be involved in environmental protection efforts, such as cleaning up hazardous waste spills or locating the safest areas for disposal of waste. WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS?
Hydrology is the study of water’s properties, distribution and circulation on Earth. The catch basin (storm sewer) openings we see on our streets don’t lead to a treatment facility, they empty into our streams and lakes. Local contractors are helping us to remember this by stamping newly poured concrete with the phrase “No Dumping, Leads to Lake”. Older catch basins can also be marked. See our Volunteer Storm Drain Marking page to learn more!