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Environmental Hydrology

Hydrological Processes

  1. André St-hilaire1,2,
  2. Anik Daigle1,2,
  3. Daniel Caissie3

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vnn041

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

St-hilaire, A., Daigle, A. and Caissie, D. 2013. Environmental Hydrology. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Québec, Québec City, Québec, Canada

  2. 2

    University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

  3. 3

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Environmental hydrology is the component of water science that focuses on the hydrological cycle with an emphasis on its interface with humans and other organisms. Most studies in environmental hydrology deal with ecohydrology, environmental flows or instream flow requirements, and water quality/quantity analysis and modeling. Ecohydrology deals with interactions between ecosystems and the hydrological cycle at different spatiotemporal scales. Historically, most ecohydrological studies focused on the role of vegetation within the hydrologic cycle (e.g., forest hydrology) with the objective of better quantifying its impact (e.g., timber harvesting) on soil water content, evapotranspiration rates, or rainfall interception. Instream flow needs generally refer to the amount of water or flow that is required to maintain ecological functions within a river. Water quality variations in rivers depend on water quantity and movement as well as exchange processes within the river. As an example, water temperature is discussed in greater details. Both deterministic and statistical water temperature models are briefly described.


  • water;
  • river;
  • environment;
  • instream flow;
  • water quality;
  • river temperature;
  • model