This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Drainage Basins

Drainage basins

A drainage basin is the area delimited by a topographic divide or watershed as the land area which collects all the surface runoff flowing in a network of channels to exit at a particular point along a river. The subsurface phreatic divide may not correspond exactly to the topographic divide on the surface. In the USA the term ‘watershed’ is often applied to small and medium-sized drainage basins and ‘river basin’ to larger areas. In some countries the term catchment can be used to describe small drainage basins.

The importance of the drainage basin as an accounting unit has been understood since the 18th century when Pierre Perrault calculated that river flow of the Seine in France was approximately one-sixth of the precipitation ...

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