Hydrology is the study of the cycling of water through different reservoirs on Earth. It also refers to the cycling of liquids such as hydrocarbons on other planets. Hydrology focuses on the distribution of water in the subsurface, surface and atmosphere, the chemistry of that water, and the effects of climate on the water cycle.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    It is commonly thought that old groundwater cannot be pumped sustainably, and that recently recharged groundwater is inherently sustainable. We argue that both old and young groundwaters can be used in physically sustainable or unsustainable ways.

    • Grant Ferguson
    • , Mark O. Cuthbert
    • , Kevin Befus
    • , Tom Gleeson
    •  & Jennifer C. McIntosh
    Nature Geoscience 13, 592-594
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Hand hygiene is critical for reducing transmission of communicable diseases, as we are so acutely aware during the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF has identified behaviour change and knowledge promotion as top strategies for increasing handwashing during this crisis, while acknowledging that millions of people lack the water necessary for handwashing.

    • David M. Hannah
    • , Iseult Lynch
    • , Feng Mao
    • , Joshua D. Miller
    • , Sera L. Young
    •  & Stefan Krause
  • News and Views |

    The response of coastal groundwater to sea-level rise is largely unknown. Groundwater modelling along the California coast — accounting for complex topography and its interaction with rivers, streams and tributaries — shows that the area at risk from rising groundwater tables extends beyond that inundated by sea-level rise alone.

    • Christine May
  • News and Views |

    Europe’s rich heritage of historical documents has been used to reconstruct the flooding history of the continent for the past five centuries. This could help policymakers to develop flood-management strategies for the future.

    • Francis Ludlow
    •  & Rhonda McGovern
    Nature 583, 522-524