Water is one of the natural elements indispensable to the existence of the living world. It has a fundamental role in the development of natural processes (physical-chemical, biological, climatic, in the modeling of the relief) and of the socio-economic activities, constituting an important means of communication and defense, a raw material for industry, a valued source for energy, for irrigating crops, feeding the population.
Through its various forms of manifestation and its wide distribution, water makes up one of the largest layers of the Earth, known as the HYDROSPHERE. It is in relations of interaction and mutual influence with the other spheres of the Earth (atmosphere, lithosphere and biosphere).
The science that deals with the study of different aquatic units, with the dynamic, physical and chemical phenomena and processes specific to these units, as well as with the use of water for different socio-economic needs is HYDROLOGY. It is briefly defined as the science of water or the science that studies the hydrosphere.
Within Hydrology, two major areas can be distinguished: sea and ocean hydrology and land hydrology or continental hydrology. This course, except for the first part, refers to continental hydrology and addresses specific issues for five of its major subdomains, namely: potamology (studies flowing waters, their dynamics, flow regime and hydrological parameters that are characteristic of them, river basins, properties physico-chemical effects of river water); limnology and telmatology (deals with the study of the genesis and evolution of lake units, ponds and swamps, the physical and chemical characteristics of water, as well as the dynamics and sedimentation processes within these aquatic units); glaciology (researches the formation of glaciers, dynamics, their actions of erosion, transport, accumulation, types of glaciers and their spread); hydrogeology (studies the characteristics of aquifers, the evolution of piezometric surfaces, groundwater circulation, ways of exploration and exploitation of aquifers).
This paper is addressed mainly to students from different fields and specializations within the Faculty of Geography of the University of Bucharest, who attend both full-time courses and forms of Open Distance Education (IDD) organized by CREDIS and Education with Low Frequency (IFR). At the same time, the paper can be useful to geography teachers in pre-university education in order to prepare for obtaining different teaching degrees, as well as to all those interested in the field of hydrology.
This course is a new edition, revised and completed, of previous works on DRY HYDROLOGY published in 2003 by Universitara and Credis. The completions consist, mainly, in the introduction at the end of the major parts of some themes and practical works adequate to certain problems from the content of the theme. At the same time, the current edition represents a synthesized version of the HYDROLOGY course published in 2001 and 2002 by the University of Bucharest Publishing House and which we recommend to complete the information.
The course is structured in four main parts, which cover the essential issues of continental hydrology: I. General problems of hydrology; II. Groundwater (Hydrogeology); III. River hydrology (Potamology); IV. Notions of limnology, telmatology and glaciology. The chapters were provided at the end with recapitulative self-assessment questions, which would allow students on the one hand to check how they understood and mastered the basic information contained in that chapter, and on the other hand, to and fix this information. In order to highlight the important terms to remember, they were written in different characters (bold, italic, bold italic). Also, at the end of each of the four major parts, syntheses of important notions and terms were made, which would allow once again the students to recapitulate and fix them and, finally, their thorough acquisition.
As the own investigation activity is particularly important in the acquisition and understanding of knowledge, and hydrology involves numerous practical activities, some control topics are proposed in the course. These put students in the situation either to develop the problems presented in the course by consulting additional materials, or to apply concretely some theoretical knowledge presented in the course, by solving problems that involve calculations and measurements on morphohydrological parameters. The realization of the control topics is largely based on the consultation of the practical works included at the end of the major topics of the course, works that contain detailed examples of solving some practical problems.
We hope that completing this course will allow students to acquire in optimal conditions the basic knowledge in the field of continental hydrology and will arouse their interest in deepening this field so important for human existence.