Hydrology

Definition

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.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Large, intense thunderstorms frequently cause flooding and fatalities. Now, research finds that these storms may see a threefold increase in frequency and produce significantly heavier downpours in the future, far exceeding previous estimates.

    • Zhe Feng
  • News and Views |

    Circulation of the ocean's densest waters modulates millennial-scale shifts in climate. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a study finds that the shape of the sea floor constrains where these waters rise towards the surface. See Article p.181

    • Andrew L. Stewart
    Nature 551, 178–179
  • Editorial |

    The world's inland waters are under siege. A system-level view of watersheds is needed to inform both our scientific understanding and management decisions for these precious resources.

  • News and Views |

    Satellite measurements indicate that Greenland's meltwater rivers are exporting one billion tons of sediment annually, a process that is controlled by the sliding rate of glaciers. This rate is nearly 10% of the fluvial sediment discharge to the ocean.

    • Matthew A. Charette
    Nature Geoscience 10, 804–805
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Quality requirements for water differ by intended use. Sustainable management of water resources for different uses will not only need to account for demand in water quantity, but also for water temperature and salinity, nutrient levels and other pollutants.

    • Michelle T.H. van Vliet
    • , Martina Flörke
    •  & Yoshihide Wada
    Nature Geoscience 10, 800–802