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The drainage basin hydrological system: the water balance
Key terms
Vocab Definition
Transpiration The process by which water is lost by a plant on the underside of its leaf
(through the stomata), an output.
Evaporation The process by which water is changed into water vapour and lost directly

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The drainage basin is an area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. The hydrological cycle is
the process by which water is moved within the drainage basin. The drainage basin hydrological
cycle is an open system as water is gained and lost. The system is made up…

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The water budget:
The water budget refers to the balance between inputs and outputs. Basically, what goes in (in the
form of precipitation) must either come out (as channel flow or evapotranspiration) or must be

The water budget is in dynamic equilibrium, this means it changes but each change…

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Ghana's water budget:

Flood hydrographs
Key terms
Vocab Definition
Hydrograph A graph showing variations in river discharge, in cumecs, over a period of
time. A graphical representation of stream discharge during a storm or flood.
There are two main types: flashy and steady. They show how a river
responds to…

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Factors affecting river discharge/hydrographs:

Factor Flashy hydrograph: responds quickly to a Steady hydrograph: responds slowly to a
affecting rainfall event rainfall event

Precipitatio Prolonged rainfall: soil becomes If rain falls gently over a long
n saturated so there is less period of time it encourages
infiltration and more surface…

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Relief Steep slopes encourage rapid Gentle slopes encourage
surface run off therefore a infiltration and underground
decrease in lag time and increase in storage; increasing the lag time
peak discharge and decreasing peak discharge
Soil This hydrograph may have clay soils This soil may be deep therefore
which encourage surface…


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