Dooge (2001) Concepts of the Hydrological Cycle

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Dooge, J.C., 2001, Concepts of the hydrological Cycle. Ancient and modern. In International Symposium OH2 ‘Origins and History of Hydrology’. Mayo (pp. 9-11).


The linkage of water and civilisation throughout the ages has resulted in a long history of concepts of the hydrological cycle comprising evaporation, precipitation, percolation and streamflow. For over two thousand years the dominant theory was that, water stored in the sea found it’s way into the interior of the earth was lifted by some mechanism or other within the mountains and emerged at a higher level as springs to feed the streamflow returning water to the sea. The modern concept of the cycle, based on the premise that rainfall was more than adequate to account for streamflow, gradually strengthened from the end of the XVIIth Century onwards but was only universally accepted in the XXth century. Many of the key authors involved in this story are better known for other activities and include Plato (427-347 BC), William Caxton (1422-1491), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Bernard Palissy (1510-1590), Pierre Perrault (1608-1680), Edmond Halley (1656-1742), John Dalton (1766-1844).



A contribution to the International Symposium OH2 ‘Origins and History of Hydrology held at the University of Burgogne. Link still to be established to all the papers presented.