The concept of hydrologic landscapes

Journal of the American Water Resources Association



Hydrologic landscapes are multiples or variations of fundamental hydrologic landscape units. A fundamental hydrologic landscape unit is defined on the basis of land-surface form, geology, and climate. The basic land-surface form of a fundamental hydrologic landscape unit is an upland separated from a lowland by an intervening steeper slope. Fundamental hydrologic landscape units have a complete hydrologic system consisting of surface runoff, ground-water flow, and interaction with atmospheric water. By describing actual landscapes in terms of land-surface slope, hydraulic properties of soils and geologic framework, and the difference between precipitation and evapotranspiration, the hydrologic system of actual landscapes can be conceptualized in a uniform way. This conceptual framework can then be the foundation for design of studies and data networks, syntheses of information on local to national scales, and comparison of process research across small study units in a variety of settings. The Crow Wing River watershed in central Minnesota is used as an example of evaluating stream discharge in the context of hydrologic landscapes. Lake-research watersheds in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska are used as an example of using the hydrologic-landscapes concept to evaluate the effect of ground water on the degree of mineralization and major-ion chemistry of lakes that lie within ground-water flow systems.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The concept of hydrologic landscapes
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2001.tb00973.x
Volume 37
Issue 2
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher American Water Resources Association
Description 15 p.
First page 335
Last page 349
Country United States
State Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details