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MAIN HYDROLOGICAL CONCEPTS
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To assist the students to develop
and enhance the ability and
knowledge in main hydrological
concepts such as
1. hydrological cycle
2. water balance equation
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At the end of the course, students should be able to:

• Define hydrology.
• Apply fundamental knowledge of hydrology
particularly use in civil and environmental
engineering.
• Apply water balance equation as the base of a
modeling of hydrology which covers processes of
precipitation, evaporation, infiltration, runoff and
groundwater.
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Hydrology

• is a multidisciplinary subject that deals with the
occurrence, circulation, storage, and distribution of
surface and ground water on the earth.

• The domain of hydrology includes the physical,
chemical, and biological reactions of water in
natural and man-made environments.
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Hydrology is….
• a science that studies the availability and
movement of water in the earth.
• also defined as a science related to the
occurrence and distribution of natural water
on the earth.
• hydrology covers many type of water,
including transformation among liquid, solid
and gas in atmosphere, surface and
subsurface land.
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To civil and environmental engineers,
hydrogeologists, and other earth scientists
because of the environmental significance of

water supply,
major floods
droughts
drainage and urban stormwater


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Hydrologic cycle is a continuous
process in which water is evaporated
from water surfaces and oceans, moves
inland as moist air masses, and produce
precipitation if the correct vertical lifting
conditions exist. The precipitation that
falls from clouds onto the land surface of
the earth is dispersed to the hydrologic
cycle via several pathways (Fig.1-1).
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impermeable layer
Evaporation
from Lake/river
Evaporation
from Land
Evaporation
from Ocean
Transpiration
Run-off Infiltration
Groundwater Flow
Precipitation
Wind
Figure 1-1: Hydrology Cycle
Cloud
Cloud Cloud
Precipitation Precipitation
Run-off
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P = Precipitation
T = Transpiration
I = Infiltration
R = Runoff
G = Groundwater flow
E = Evaporation from lake, land surface and ocean
ET = Evapotranspiration
LS = Land surface
WT = Water table
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Main River
River
River
River
River
Catchment
boundary
Lake
Spring
Spring
Spring
H
I
G
H
L
A
N
D

A
R
E
A
C
O
A
S
T
A
L

A
R
E
A
Sketch of Movement of Water on the Land Surface
A watershed is a contiguous (sharing a boundary)
area that drains to an outlet, such that precipitation
that falls within the watershed runs off through
that single outlet.

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Outlet
Outlet
a. Elongated shape b. Concentrated shape
Figure 1-2
Typical watershed areas
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Water Balance Equation

In quantitative terms, hydrology cycle can be
represented by a closed equation which represents
the principle of conservation of mass. And many
forms of this expression, called the water balance.

Water balance equation is the base of a modelling
of hydrology.
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Location
Area
of Water
km
2

Volume
of Water
km
3

Percentage
Total
of Water (%)
Surface Water
- Fresh Water in Lake
- Salt Water in Lake
- Fresh Water in River & Stream

Subsurface Water
- Groundwater, upper 800m depth
- Groundwater, below 800m depth

Soil Moisture

Ice and Glacier

Atmosphere

Ocean

854,330.73
698,997.87



129,444,050.00
129,444,050.00


129,444,050.00

17,863,278.90

510,009,557.00

361,148,899.50

124,965.285
104,137.738
1,249.652


4,165,509.529
4,165,509.529


66,648.152

29,158,566.703

12,913.080

1,320,466,520.000

0.009
0.008
0.001


0.31
0.31


0.005

2.15

0.001

97.20
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Volume of water in the world ± 1,358 million km
3
.

Volume of fresh water ± 2.8 %, most of fresh water
are in the form of ice and glacier

Fresh water of groundwater, lake, cloud and rain ±
8.54 million km
3
or only 0.63%.
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dt
dS
Q= ÷ I
where:
I = inflow [L
3
/t]
Q = outflow [L
3
/t]
dS/dt = change in storage per time [L
3
/t]
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The same concept can be applied to small basins
or large watersheds
P – R – G – E – T = ΔS
where:

P = precipitation,
R = surface runoff,
G = groundwater flow,
E = evaporation,
T = transpiration,
ΔS = change in storage in a specified time period.

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For a given month, a 121 ha lake has 0.43 m
3
/s of inflow, 0.37
m
3
/s of outflow, and total storage increase of 1.97 ha-m. A
USGS gage next to the lake recorded a total of 3.3 cm
precipitation for the lake for the month. Assuming that
infiltration loss is insignificant for the lake, determine the
evaporation loss, in cm, over the lake for the month.

Solution:
Solving the water balance for inflow I and outflow Q in a lake
gives,

for evaporation, E = I – O + P – ΔS,
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( )
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.
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\
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\
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.
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\
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.
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\
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\
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=
1ha
10,000m
121ha
1hour
3,600sec
1day
24hr
1month
30day
1month
sec
m
0.43
2
3
I
( )
( )
|
|
.
|

\
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.
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\
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.
|

\
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.
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\
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.
|

\
|
=
1ha
10,000m
121ha
1hour
3,600sec
1day
24hr
1month
30day
1month
sec
m
0.37
2
3
O
= 0.92 m = 92 cm
= 0.79 m = 79 cm
P = 3.3 cm

( )
( ) 121ha
m 1.97ha
ΔS
÷
=
= 0.0163 m = 1.63 cm

E = 92 – 79 + 3.3 – 1.63 = 14.67 cm

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A swimming pool (6m × 6m × 1.5m) has a small leak at the bottom.
Measurements of rainfall, evaporation, and water level are taken daily for 10
days to determine what should be done for repair. Estimate the average daily
leakage out of the swimming pool in cm
3
/day. Assume the pool is exactly 1.5
m deep at the end of day 1.
Day Evaporation
(mm)
Rainfall
(mm)
Measured Level
(mm)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
12.7
0
12.7
0
12.7
12.7
0
12.7
12.7
12.7
-
25.4
-
50.8
-
-
101.6
-
-
-
1,524








1,321
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Solution
The water balance equation becomes: O = P – E – ΔS

Total change in storage, AS = 1,321 – 1,524 = -203 mm
Total precipitation, P = 25.4 + 50.8 + 101.6 = 177.8 mm
Evaporation, E = (7) × (12.7) = 88.9 mm

Thus, outflow,O = 177.8 – 88.9 – (-203) = 291.9 mm

Outflow should be in cm
3
/day. The height change is
distributed over the pool area.
Q =
( ) ( ) ( )
10days
1m
100cm
6m
1m
100cm
6m
10mm
1cm
291.9mm
|
.
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\
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.
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\
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×
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.
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\
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Q = 1,050,840 cm
3
/day
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 Fundamental to analyses, forecasting, and
modeling.

 Hydrologic data consists of;
 Wind
 Temperature
 Humidity
 Evaporation
 Precipitation
 Solar radiation

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Hydrology is the science of water.

It embraces the occurrence, distribution, movement
and properties of the waters of the earth.

A mathematical accounting system may be constructed
for the inputs, outputs and water storages of a region
so that a history of water movement over time can be
estimated.
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