The hydrological cycle

All about the hydrological cycle


Drainage basin

Water doesnt leave the planet - it is continuoulsy cycled between the ocean and the atmosphere. 

Forms of precipitation

  • rain
  • snow
  • fog
  • hail

A rivers drainage basin is the area surrounding the river where the rain is failling on the land flows into the river.

The boundary of the drainage basin are called watersheds-water falling beyond the watershed enters a different drainage basin.

Drainage basins are open systems with inputs and outputs.

Water enters the system though precipitaion - leaves via evaporation, transpiration and river discharge. 

1 of 2

Drainage basin terminology


  • Precipiation- the way moisture comes out of the atmosphere, eg, rain, hail, snow, fog.


  • Interception - when some of the precipitaion lands on vegetation or other structures such as buildings, before it reaches the soil. Interception is only TEMPORARY as the water is evaporated.
  • Vegetation storage - water that has been taken up by the plants.
  • Surface storage - water in puddles, lakes and ponds.
  • Groundwater storage- water stored in the ground, either in soil or rocks. 
  • The water table - the top surface of the zone of saturation.
  • Channel storage - water held in a river or channel. 
2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Rivers and fluvial processes resources »