FORS 3060 FORS 3060
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Date Created: 09/12/15
CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 1 Hydrologic Glossary 100year oodplain Area inundated during a 100 year ood 100year ood A ood with a 1 annual probability Abandoned oxbows Former river meanders that have been cut off River no longer ows through them Abandoned terraces Areas of paleo oodplain no longer part of active oodplain Absolute humidity Mass of water vapor per unit volume of air Active oodplain Valley areas inundated by plausible storm ows Actual evapotranspiration Transfer of moisture from the earth to the atmosphere by evap oration of water and transpiration from plants Adiabatic lapse rate Theoretical change in atmospheric temperature as a function of ele vation occurring with no net loss or gain of energy Aggradation Deposition of sediment or detritus on the soil surface or on a streambed Annual Occurring on a yearly basis Aquiclude Geologic formation that does not store or transmit appreciable quantities of water Aquifer Geologic formation that contains suf cient saturated permeable materials to yield signi cant quantities of water to wells and springs Artesian aquifer A con ned aquifer in which the potentiometric surface is above the land surface Aquitard A geologic unit that retards but does not prevent the ow of water to or from an adjacent aquifer It does not readily yield water to wells7 but may serve as a storage unit for ground water Atmosphere The gaseous envelope surrounding the earth or a heavenly body On the earth7 the air mass above the water table Back channel swamp Low area in oodplain near or below water table Backwater Water that accumulates in low energy areas of a ood plain or ood way Bank erosion or scour The loss of stream banks by the force of water Usually greatest on outside bends7 and near obstructions Base ow That part of the stream discharge that is not attributable to direct runoff from precipitation or melting snow It is usually sustained by ground water discharge Basin A large or small depression on the surface of the land or ocean oor It can also be used to mean a watershed Bedload sediment The mineral matter transported by water along the bed of a stream CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 2 Blackwater Water containing large amounts of organic acids that cause the water to appear black Boulder Particles larger than 264 mm bigger than a basketball Capillary rise The height above a water surface to which water will rise due to capillary forces Channel order A ranking of channels from smallest zero largest A zero order channel is a hollow with no clear channel7 a rst order channel is a headwater channel with no tributaries7 a second order channel is form when two rst order channels join7 etc Channel substrate Material on the bed of a channel Closed system A system within which no external inputs or outputs are present Cloud A visible collection of particles of water or ice suspended in air7 usually at an elevation above he earth7s surface Coagulant To become or cause to become thickened into a compact mass Cobble Particles greater than 64 mm and less than 264 mm bigger than a softball7 smaller than a basketball Condensation To change from a vapor into a liquid or a solid with a concomitant release of energy Cone of depression A lowering of the potentiometric surface near a well due to the extrac tion of water Cone of impression An increase in the potentiometric surface near a well due to the injection of water Con ned aquifer An aquifer overlain by a formation of lower permeability and where the potentiometric surface is above the top of the aquifer Conservation equation An identity that establishes a conservation relationship eg7 con servation of mass7 energy Constitutive relationship A formula that relates inputs or outputs to state variables using parameters Contaminant An undesirable substance not normally present7 or an unusually high concen tration of a naturally occurring substance Continental air mass Referring to dry tropospheric air masses Darcian ux The rate of ground water discharge per unit area of porous medium measured perpendicular to the direction of movement Degradation The removal of sediment or detritus from the soil surface or a streambed Detention The temporary capture of water which is subsequently released after a delay Dew Moisture condensed from the atmosphere and deposited in the form of small drops of liquid water upon any cool surface CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 3 Dewpoint The temperature to which air must be cooled at a given pressure and water vapor content for it to reach saturation Energy The capacity to do work Environmentalist A person who advocates or works for protection of the air water animals plants and other natural resources from pollution or its effects Environmental lapse rate The observed change in atmospheric temperature as a function of elevation Equipotential line or surface Line or surface along which the total head or potential is constant Erosion The process by which the land surface is worn away by the action of water glaciers wind waves etc Eutrophic Having elevated nutrients that promotes biological productivity resulting in an accumulation of oxygen in the photic zone and a depletion of oxygen below the photic zone Eutrophication The addition of nutrients resulting in the creation of a eutrophic water body Evaporation To change from a liquid or a solid state into a vapor with a concomitant ab sorption of energy Evapotranspiration Losing water from the soil both by evaporation from the soil and ex ternal plant surfaces and by transpiration through plant stoma Extirpate To eradicate or destroy wholly Fiber netting Strong material of some ber used to prevent soil erosion Flow duration The amount of time any given ow is equaled or exceeded Flow volume Sum of all ows during a given time period This is the area under the hydro graph Fluid ux The ow of water per unit area In groundwater equal to the darcian ux ln surface water equal to the uid velocity Fluid velocity The rate at which a uid particle moves along a streamline ln ground water equal to the darcian velocity divided by the water content or porosity if saturated of the porous medium In surface water equal to the uid ux Flux The volume of uid ow per unit time per unit area Fog A cloud like mass or layer of minute water droplets or ice crystals near the surface of the earth Forward modeling The estimation of a forecast using observed data and a calibrated model Frost Frozen moisture condensed from the atmosphere and deposited in the form of small ice crystals upon any cool surface below the freezing point of water CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 4 Gaia hypothesis A model of the earth as a self regulating organism7 advanced as an alter native to a mechanistic model Global circulation belt Zones of global proportions where the air typically moves in a spe ci c direction7 eastward or westward Gravel Particles greater than 2 mm and less than 64 mm in diameter bigger than sand7 smaller than a softball Gravel or sand bars Deposits of sediment left in low velocity areas of the channel Ground water Liquid water found below the surface of the earth Gully A small valley or ravine originally worn away by running water and serving as a drainage way after heavy rains Half life The time required for half of the atoms of a radioactive substance to disintegrate Hydraulic conductivity A coef cient that relates the darcian velocity to the hydraulic gra dient Hydraulic head The total of the elevation head7 pressure head7 velocity head7 and other factors7 such as osmotic head Hydraulic gradient The slope of the water table or potentiometric surface7 or7 the rate of change of total head with distance Hydrogeology The science dealing with the occurrence and distribution of underground wa ter Hydrograph A a graph relating stage7 streamflow7 water level7 velocity or other characteris tics of water with respect to time Hydrologic cycle The natural sequence through which water passes into the atmosphere as water vapor7 precipitates to the earth and returns to the atmosphere through evaporation Hydrology The science dealing with the occurrence7 circulation7 distribution7 and properties of the waters of the earth and its atmosphere Hypereutrophic Having extremely elevated nutrients that promotes uncontrolled biological productivity7 resulting in a severe depletion of oxygen below the photic zone and nuisance algae blooms Ideal gas law Relates temperature of air mass to its pressure As air rises to elevations with lower pressures7 it cools as a function of this law In ltration The movement of water into the earth Instantaneous peak discharge Flow rate at the peak of a storm hydrograph Interception The accumulation of precipitation in the vegetative canopy that eventually evaporates and does not reach the earth7s surface Inter ow Stream ow observed following rainfall that can not be attributed to storm ow or base ow CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 5 Inverse modeling The estimation of input data or parameters using observed data and sys tem outputs Joule The Sl unit of work or energy equal to the work done by a force of one newton when its point of application moves through a distance of one meter in the direction of the force Kilogram The base Sl unit of mass its international prototype a platinum iridium cylinder is kept in S vres France Kinetic energy The energy associated with motion or inertia equal to the one half the mass times the squared velocity Lapse rate The change in temperature with altitude Normally temperatures decrease with elevation Latent heat The heat absorbed or radiated during a change of phase at constant temperature and pressure Latent heat of fusion The amount of heat required to melt one gram of ice to liquid water at 00 Latent heat of vaporization The quantity of heat that is absorbed or released when a gram of water evaporates or condenses respectively It is a function of temperature and is equal to 540 calg at 100 C Leachate The uid that drains from the bottom or sides of a land ll or waste dump Linear function Having a response or output which is directly proportional to the input that is y2x 2 yx Lower cloud limit The lowest elevation within a cloud at which the ambient temperature equals the dew point temperature Maritime air mass Referring to wet tropospheric air masses Matric suction The volumetric energy content of the water expressed as a negative pressure Mean annual ow The average of all ows during the water year Mesotrophic Having suf cient nutrients to promote moderate levels of biological productiv ity resulting depletion of oxygen below the photic zone Meter The base of the SI unit of length equivalent to 1299792458 of the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one second Millibar mb A unit of pressure equal to 007493 cm of mercury or 1015 cm of water Mean sea level air pressure is 10132 mb or the equivalent of 1028 meters of water Moisture characteristic curve The relationship between matric suction and water content for a porous material Newton The Sl unit of force equal to the force that produces an acceleration of one meter per second per second on a mass of one kilogram CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 6 Oligotrophic Having low amounts of nutrients and biological activity with normal concen trations of oxygen at all depths Open system A system in which inputs are received from external to the system7 or outputs are discharged from the system Ordinary high water mark lndicated by a change in vegetation along a channel Typically marks the level of the annual ow the 101 year ow Over ow channels The channels used by river during out of bank ows Overland ow Water that ows across the surface of the earth that is not in a de ned channel Paleo oodplain Valley areas covered by alluvial deposits Parameter A coef cient that relates inputs7 outputs or state variables Pascal The 81 unit of pressure or stress7 equal to one newton per square meter Peak ow The maximum rate of stream ow in response to a heavy rainfall Peak annual ow The largest peak ow in a water year Percolation The downward movement of water through the unsaturated zone Perennial Plants that have a life cycle lasing more than two years Permeability A measure of the ability of a porous material to transmit uid in response to a uid potential gradient Petiole A slender stalk at the base of a leaf that attaches to the stem Phreatic zone Same as saturated zone Plume The volume within an outline of a substance that has moved or is moving through space Polar air mass Referring to cold tropospheric air masses Point bar A sediment deposit on the inside turn of a river where ow velocities are slower Porosity The total volume of voids per unit volume of porous material Potential energy The energy of matter due to its position or arrangement of its parts Potential evapotransporation The possible maximum transfer of moisture from the earth to the atmosphere by evaporation of water and transpiration from plants Water loss from a short green crop completely shading the ground and never short of water Potentiometric surface The surface to which water would rise in a well Power The work done or energy performed per unit of time Precipitation The falling products of condensation in the atmosphere7 such as rain7 snow7 and hail CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 7 Radionuclide An element that decays by spontaneously emitting particles or energy Rate The change of a variable with respect to time Rating curve The relationship between stream stage ie water level and stream discharge ie stream ow Recharge The addition of water to the saturated zone Relative humidity The amount of water vapor in the air expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount that the air could hold at the given temperature Computed as the ratio of the actual vapor pressure to the saturation vapor pressure Relative hydraulic conductivity The ratio of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity to the saturated hydraulic conductivity Residence time The period of time during which a substance remains present adsorbed suspended or dissolved Retention The complete capture of water without subsequent release Ri 39le A shallow section of a river or stream associated with higher water velocity Rill or rille A long small gully usually found together in large numbers on steep slopes and oriented parallel to the slope and to each other Riparian zone Area where vegetation is in uenced by the river and the river microclimate is directly in uenced by the vegetation Saltation The skipping of particles across a surface usually over a solid surface driven by water or wind Saturated zone The region within the earth below the water table where all the pores are completely saturated with water and the uid pressure exceeds the atmospheric pressure Saturation vapor pressure Maximum vapor pressure that is thermodynamically stable meaning that water usually condenses into droplets when the saturation vapor pressure is reached or exceeded Actually however condensation requires small particles to initiate drop formation so clean air can exceed the saturation vapor pressure Second The base of the SI unit of time equaling 9192631770 cycles of radiation in a change in energy level of the cesium atom Sediment delivery ratio The ratio between point and regional estimates of sediment pro duction per unit area normally a number less than one Sensible heat Heat absorbed or radiated due to a temperature change at constant pressure and without a phase change SI The international system of units The basis of the metric system Sink An output from a system which is usually the input of another system Source An input into a system which is usually the output of another system Stage The height of water in a stream or lake CRSSFORS 3060 Hydrologic Glossary 8 State variable An observable feature of a system that can be used to predict inputs or outputs Stoma A small opening on a leaf or stem surface that allows gasses primarily carbon dioxide7 oxygen7 and water vapor to exchange from the atmosphere to internal plant tissue Storm ow The ow of water in a stream attributable to recent precipitation Stratosphere The region of the upper atmosphere extending upward from the tropopause to about 50 km above the earth7 characterized by little vertical change in temperature Streambanks De nite channel walls formed by uvial erosion Most high ows are contained within the banks The banks usually hold ows up to the 15 year ow Stream ow Flow of water in a stream7 the sum of base ow and storm ow Streamline The path of a particle entrained in a uid that is owing steadily and without turbulence Surface water Liquid fresh water found above the surface of the earth Suspended sediment Mineral or organic matter contained in owing water not in contact with the streambed Thalweg The deepest part of the channel Tracer A substance used as a marker to study biological7 chemical7 or physical systems Travel time The period of time required for a substance to move from one point to another Tropical air mass Referring to hot tropospheric air masses Tropopause The boundary layer between the troposphere and the stratosphere Troposphere The lowest layer of the atmosphere extending from the water table to the tropopause Uncon ned aquifer An aquifer in which the potentiometric surface is below the top of the aquifer Unsaturated zone The region within the earth extending from the earth7s surface down to the water table where the uid pressure is less than atmospheric and not all pores are completely saturated with water Upper cloud limit The highest altitude to which a cloud extends7 the absolute limit being the tropopause Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity The value of hydraulic conductivity for unsaturated ow conditions Equal to the product of the relative hydraulic conductivity with the hydraulic conductivity Vadose zone Same as unsaturated zone Vapor pressure The partial pressure of water vapor7 usually expressed in millibars Water content The volume of water per unit volume of porous media