Four. Catchment Hydrology

  1. Kirstie A. Fryirs1 and
  2. Gary J. Brierley2

Published Online: 28 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118305454.ch4

Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape

Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape

How to Cite

Fryirs, K. A. and Brierley, G. J. (2012) Catchment Hydrology, in Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118305454.ch4

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Environment and Geography, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia

  2. 2

    School of Environment, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2012
  2. Published Print: 16 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405192750

Online ISBN: 9781118305454

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Keywords:

  • catchment hydrology;
  • discharge generation model;
  • flood hydrographs;
  • flow frequency;
  • flow variability;
  • groundwater flow;
  • hydrological cycle

Summary

This chapter focuses on the hydrology of catchments. Before examining the processes by which water is supplied, transferred and stored in catchments, an introduction to the global hydrological cycle is presented. Measures of discharge, and the magnitude and frequency of river flows, are considered in the second half of the chapter. There are four main components to the hydrological cycle: atmospheric water, precipitation, evaporation and transpiration, and surface water. In any given catchment, runoff occurs when the soil can no longer absorb the water that is made available to it. Groundwater discharge varies as runoff is generated and flow rises and falls in channels. Stages of a flow event can be depicted on a hydrograph, which is a visual representation of the magnitude (size) and duration (time) of a flood event. The chapter also discusses the role of catchment morphometrics, topography, rainstorm pathways and antecedent moisture conditions.