Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Water, Rivers and Creeks



Luna B. Leopold's intent in Water, Rivers and Creeks was to provide a nontechnical primer on hydrology and water resources, and he succeeded admirably. The terse style is reminiscent of the mystery writer Mickey Spillane, though the content is complex science expounded in simple terms. “Part I, Hydrology and Morphology,” makes up the first two thirds of the book, and in this section, Leopold develops hydrologic and geomorphic concepts and principles using analogies with items common to any household. Garden hoses, dishpans, bath tubs, and sieves provide illuminating examples of the effects of channel storage on stream flow, water tables and the movement of groundwater, sustainable yield and the storage equation, and the infiltration/percolation process.