Land Environments of Water Resource Management

Bruce K. Ferguson

DOI: 10.2190/9PFN-4120-PG4D-EDEY


This article attempts to look across a broad range of hydrologic disciplines in order to compare the types of hydrologic phenomena and processes that occur in different types of land environments, and to develop a conceptual framework for basic hydrologic classification of land. It emphasizes the qualitative types of hydrologic processes that may occur in the landscape, rather than quantitative rates of flow. The framework was developed by reclassifying physiographic landforms according to hydrologic characteristics, and examining different landform types in photographs and on the ground. The framework is based around landform, hydroclimate, and regional aquifers and rivers. Landforms are characterized as hydrologically "positive" or "negative," with positive landforms being further broken down by permeability of soil and bedrock. Such a framework could help to guide early water resource planning decisions by aiding the comparison of contrasting needs and potentials of different areas. It can thus have important implications for the types of solutions to water resource issues that are attempted.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.