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Hydrology

The hydrological processes in a region are influenced by the climate and physical characteristics of the area. Examples of two different regions in Queensland include the Wet tropics and Dry tropics. The Wet tropics is characterised by high average rainfall which can produce more than 250 mm of rain per day during the wet season. In contrast, the Dry tropics experience relatively high temperatures throughout the year with low average rainfall and high rates of evaporation.

Western Queensland Photo by Gary Cranitch © Queensland Museum

Quick facts

Koeppen
climate zones are used for various purposes such as classification systems in Queensland.

Hydrology – Region

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Climate

Climate is a major determinant of hydrology, and it interacts with the landscape to determine hydrological characteristics.

Physical characteristics

The hydrological character of a region is also highly dependent on the physical characteristics such as geology, topography, and the drainage basin. The underlying geology of catchments in a region influences runoff and the permeability of the rock which in turn influences, groundwater infiltration. The shape of an area (topography), including the slope of the land, influences the speed of runoff. Vegetation affects water runoff by promoting evapotranspiration and providing roughness which influences the speed of water movement across the land[2].

Human modifications to catchments such as buildings and infrastructure can create impermeable surfaces and barriers that lead to the channelling of water. Modifications to channels, such as straightening and diversions, can increase flow rates, while weirs, dams and rural water storages (farm dams) also modify natural water flow patterns.

Hydrological processes

Water can move through the landscape in many ways, including through surface water runoff and groundwater (groundwater recharge) and can transfer between the two systems[1]. Water also interacts with the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration.


References

  1. ^ Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), 'Australian Water Information Dictionary', Water status: Water Market Reports. [online] Available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/awid/product-water-status-water-market-reports.shtml [Accessed 30 September 2020].
  2. ^ Department of Environment and Conservation (2012), A guide to managing and restoring wetlands in Western Australia. [online], Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth. Available at: https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/wetlands/publications-and-links/218-a-guide-to-managing-and-restoring-wetlands-in-western-australia.

Last updated: 10 May 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2021) Hydrology – Region, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 May 2021. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/processes-systems/water/hydrology/region.html

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science