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Gollis University

Course : Hydrogeology
Lecturer: Eng. M.M.Qawdhan
Water Engineer/Hydrologist

Chapter One
Elements of Hydrologic Cycle and
hydrologic processes

Hydrologic Cycle
groundwater component in hydrologic cycle,
Hydrologic Equation

the study of water. Hydrology addresses the occurrence, distribution,
movement, and chemistry of ALL waters of the earth.

HYDROGEOLOGY: includes the study of the interrelationship of

geologic materials and processes with water,
development and management

Hydrologic Cycle

Saline water in oceans accounts for 97.2% of total water on earth.

Land areas hold 2.8% of which ice caps and glaciers hold 76.4% (2.14% of
total water)
Groundwater to a depth 4000 m: 0.61%
Soil moisture .005%
Fresh-water lakes .009%
Rivers 0.0001%.
>98% of available fresh water is groundwater.

Hydrologic CYCLE has no beginning and no end

Water evaporates from surface of the ocean, land, plants..
Amount of evaporated water varies, greatest near the equator.
Evaporated water is pure (salts are left behind).

When atmospheric conditions are suitable, water vapor condenses and

forms droplets.
These droplets may fall to the sea, or unto land (precipitation) or may evaporate
while still aloft

Precipitation falling on land surface enters into a number of

different pathways of the hydrologic cycle:
some temporarily stored on land surface as ice and snow or
water puddles (depression storage)
some will drain across land to a stream channel (overland flow).
If surface soil is porous, some water will seep into the ground by a
process called infiltration (ultimate source of recharge to

Below land surface soil pores contain both air and water: region is
called vadose zone or zone of aeration
Water stored in vadose zone is called soil moisture
Soil moisture is drawn into rootlets of growing plants
Water is transpired from plants as vapor to the atmosphere
Under certain conditions, water can flow laterally in the vadose
zone (interflow)
Water vapor in vadose zone can also migrate to land surface, then
Excess soil moisture is pulled downward by gravity (gravity
At some depth, pores of rock are saturated with water marking the
top of the saturated zone.

Top of saturated zone is called the water table.

Water stored in the saturated zone is known as ground water
Groundwater moves through rock and soil layers until it discharges as
springs, or seeps into ponds, lakes, stream, rivers, ocean

Groundwater contribution to a stream is called baseflow

Total flow in a stream is runoff
Water stored on the surface of the earth in ponds, lakes, rivers is called
surface water
Precipitation intercepted by plant leaves can evaporate to atmosphere

Groundwater component
in the hydrologic cycle
Vadose zone = unsaturated zone
Phreatic zone = saturated zone
Intermediate zone separates phreatic zone from
soil water
Water table marks bottom of capillary water and
beginning of saturated zone

Distribution of Water
in the Subsurface

Units are relative to annual P on land surface

100 = 119,000 km3/yr)

Hydrologic Equation
Hydrologic cycle is a network of inflows and outflows,
expressed as
Input - Output = Change in Storage (1)
Eq. (1) is a conservation statement: ALL water is
accounted for, i.e., we can neither gain nor lose water.
On a global scale

atmosphere gains moisture from oceans and land areas E

releases it back in the form of precipitation P.
P is disposed of by evaporation to the atmosphere E,
overland flow to the channel network of streams Qo,
Infiltration through the soil F.
Water in the soil is subject to transpiration T, outflow to the channel
network Qo, and recharge to the groundwater RN.

groundwater changes in
response to pumping

ft3/ Outflows


1. Precipitation

2475 2. E of P


3. gw discharge to sea 725

4. Streamflow to sea


5. ET of gw


6. Spring flow


Example, contd.
Write an equation to describe water balance.
Water balance equation:

Water input from precipitation evapotranspiration of

precipitation evapotranspiration of groundwater
stream flow discharging to the sea groundwater
discharging to the sea spring flow = change in storage
P ETp ETgw Qswo Qgwo Qso = S

Example, contd
Is the system in steady state?
Substitute appropriate values in above

2475 1175 -25 -525 -25 = S =0

1. Basic Hydrology Concept

1.1. Introduction

Water is vital for all living organisms on Earth.

For centuries, people have been investigating where
water comes from and where it goes, why some of it is
salty and some is fresh, why sometimes there is not
enough and sometimes too much. All questions and
answers related to water have been grouped together
into a discipline.
The name of the discipline is hydrology and is formed by
two Greek words: "hydro" and "logos" meaning "water"
and "science".

What is Hydrology?
It is a science of water.
It is the science that deals with the occurrence,
circulation and distribution of water of the earth
and earths atmosphere.

A good understanding of the hydrologic

processes is important for the assessment of
the water resources, their management and
conservation on global and regional scales.

In general sense hydrology deals with

Estimation of water resources
The study of processes such as
precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff
and their interaction
The study of problems such as floods and
droughts and strategies to combat them