The works about water

Elements of Physical Hydrology
October 29, 1999

This text represents the culmination of two decades of provision of an undergraduate course in physical hydrology at the University of Virginia to environmental sciences students. The book reflects the interests of the authors and focuses on the basic principles of quantitative procedures and runs the risk of being too highly selective.

The style reflects the modern approach to textbook writing and includes excellent worked examples coupled to a CD-Rom, which includes a multimedia HTML version of the text that is supplemented by Quicktime movies to augment the printed version. This is highly attractive to academics who wish to customise their courses and students who wish to add value to their existing course by working through a complementary text.

The book is well written and will probably satisfy its primary audience in the environmental sciences. It is unlikely to be utilised by engineering students given its limited coverage.

However, its general introduction to physical hydrology and in particular catchment hydrology via the hillslope-stream continuum is impressive. It is biased towards the physical principles of fluid movement but is constantly limited by the enforced regime of limited depth. Whether it is good enough to justify its relatively high cost is debatable.

Ian Cluckie is professor of hydrology and water management, University of Bristol.

Elements of Physical Hydrology

Author - George Hornberger, Jeffrey Raffensperger, Patricia Wiberg and Keith Eshleman
ISBN - 0 8018 5857 7 and 5859 6
Publisher - Johns Hopkins University Press
Price - £62.00 and £38.50
Pages - 302

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