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Book Chapter

Influence of the atmosphere

By
Harry F. Lins
Harry F. Lins
U. S. Geological Survey, 436 National Center, Reston, Virginia 22092
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F. Kenneth Hare
F. Kenneth Hare
301 Lakeshore Rd West, Oakville, Ontario, Canada L6K 1G2
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Krishan P.Singh
Krishan P.Singh
Illinois State Geological Survey, Natural Resources Building, 615 Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820
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Published:
January 01, 1990

Abstract

Surface water hydrologie processes represent the dynamic expression of the flux of moisture to, across, and from the land surface. The primary control on this moisture flux is climate, which in turn, is controlled by the general circulation of the atmosphere. Thus, in order to understand the nature and characteristics of surface water hydrology, it is first necessary to understand the atmospheric context within which surface water processes occur. In this chapter we present this context in a conceptually broad, but topically systematic way. The chapter content includes empirical information developed over many decades of observation. .We develop a more contemporary perspective, however, by characterizing these observations in a framework that draws on the current thinking associated with global change, especially with respect to climate variability and change.

The chapter begins with an overview of the concepts and elements associated with the fluxes of energy and moisture to, across, through, and from the land surface. In particular, emphasis is placed on the characteristics of the surface energy balance, especially the fluxes of latent and sensible heat. Additionally, the primary terrestrial components of the hydrologie cycle— évapotranspiration, runoff, and soil moisture—are discussed.

From this description of the atmospheric “engine” we proceed to a characterization of the climate and hydrologie effects that result from the operation of the atmospheric “engine.” This includes the general atmospheric circulation (i.e., the weather delivery system), the climatology of North American extratropical and tropical storms, patterns and trends in North American droughts, regional hydroclimatic conditions, and an overview of the hydrologie cycle over North America.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Surface Water Hydrology

M. G. Wolman
M. G. Wolman
Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland 21218
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H. C. Riggs
H. C. Riggs
U.S. Geological Survey 415 National Center Reston, Virginia 22092
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Geological Society of America
Volume
O-1
ISBN electronic:
9780813754666
Publication date:
January 01, 1990

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