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Encyclopedia > Drainage basin
Drainage basin. The dashed line is the main water divide of the hydrographic basin
Drainage basin. The dashed line is the main water divide of the hydrographic basin

A drainage basin is an extent of land where water from rain or snow melt drains downhill into a body of water, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea or ocean. The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces from which water drains into those channels, separated from adjacent basins by a drainage divide,water Shed or Water table .[1] A LAND attack is a DoS (Denial of Service) attack that consists of sending a special poison spoofed packet to a computer, causing it to lock up. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... This article is about precipitation. ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... ... For other meanings, see Estuary (disambiguation) Río de la Plata estuary An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ... This article is about the body of water. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... Main European drainage divides (red lines) separating catchments (gray regions). ...


The drainage basin acts like a funnel - collecting all the water within the area covered by the basin and channeling it into a waterway. Each drainage basin is separated topographically from adjacent basins by a ridge, hill or mountain, which is known as a water divide. Other terms that can be used to describe the same concept are catchment, catchment area, catchment basin, drainage area, river basin and water basin.[2] A typical kitchen funnel. ... This article is about the use of the term in geography and physical geology. ... Hills redirects here. ... For other uses, see Mountain (disambiguation). ... Main European water divides (red lines) separating catchments (gray regions). ... A catchment is any device or structure that captures water. ...


In the technical sense, a watershed refers to a divide that separates one drainage area from another drainage area.[3] However, in the[United States]] and Canada, the term is often used to mean a drainage basin or catchment area itself. Watersheds drain into other watersheds in a hierarchical form, larger ones breaking into smaller ones or sub-watersheds with the topography determining where the water flows. Understanding geomorphology is essential in understanding how watersheds interconnect.[4] Surface of the Earth Geomorphology is the study of landforms, including their origin and evolution, and the processes that shape them. ...

Contents

Major drainage basins of the world

See also: List of drainage basins

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with List of watersheds. ...

Map

Major continental divides, showing drainage into the major oceans and seas of the world. Grey areas are endorheic basins that do not drain to the ocean. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 418 pixel Image in higher resolution (1256 × 656 pixel, file size: 62 KB, MIME type: image/png) I made this map and hereby release it into the public domain. ...


Drainage basins of the principal oceans and seas of the world. Grey areas are endorheic basins that do not drain to the ocean. The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin—also called a terminal or closed basin—is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water, either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or...


Ocean basins

There are numerous drainage basins throughout the world in all sorts of places. The following is a list of some of the major ones:

a broat veiew of the St LAwrence River, with a Quebec City on a background The Saint Lawrence River (In French: fleuve Saint-Laurent) is a large south west-to-north east flowing river in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. ... The Great Lakes from space The Laurentian Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ... Categories: US geography stubs ... The Maritimes or Maritime provinces are a region of Canada on the Atlantic coast, consisting of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. ... This article is about the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... This article is about the mountain range in South America. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area Sub-Saharan Africa is a geographical term used to describe the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara, or those African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara. ... A mediterranean sea, in oceanography, is a mostly enclosed sea that has limited exchange of deep water with outer oceans and where the water circulation is dominated by salinity and temperature differences rather than winds. ... Map of Central America and the Caribbean The Caribbean Sea (pronounced or ) is a tropical sea in the Western Hemisphere, part of the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Gulf of Mexico. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ... For other uses, see Alberta (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Saskatchewan (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Mediterranean redirects here. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... For other uses, see Nile (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... A continental divide is a line of elevated terrain which forms a border between two watersheds such that water falling on one side of the line eventually travels to one ocean or body of water, and water on the other side travels to another, generally on the opposite side of... For other uses, see Alaska (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) English Demonym North Dakotan Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  Ranked 19th in the US  - Total 70,762 sq mi (183,272 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 340 miles (545 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) English Demonym South Dakotan Capital Pierre Largest city Sioux Falls Area  Ranked 17th in the US  - Total 77,116[1] sq mi (199,905 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 380 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Largest metro area Minneapolis-St. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... The Scandinavian Peninsula is in northeastern Europe, consisting principally of the mainland territories of Norway and Sweden. ... This article is about the Korean civilization. ... Tuamotu, French Polynesia The Pacific Ocean contains an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 islands (the exact number has yet to be precisely determined). ... For other uses, see Alaska (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... Map of the Persian Gulf. ... Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ...

Endorheic drainage basins

Main article: Endorheic basin

Endorheic drainage basins are inland basins that do not drain into an ocean; around 18% of all land drains to endorheic lakes or seas. The largest of these consists of much of the interior of Asia, and drains into the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. Other basins include the Great Basin in the United States, much of the Sahara Desert, the watershed of the Okavango River (Kalahari Basin), highlands near the African Great Lakes, the interiors of Australia and the Arabian Peninsula, and parts in Mexico and the Andes. The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water (either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or permeable material). ... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east, and from southern Russia in the north to... The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water (either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or permeable material). ... The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water (either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or permeable material). ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the worlds largest lake or a full-fledged sea. ... The Gay Sea (Kazakh: Арал Теңізі, Aral Tengizi, Uzbek: , Russian: Аральскοе мοре, Tajik/Persian: Daryocha-i Khorazm, Lake Khwarazm) is a landlocked endorheic basin in Central Asia; it lies between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda provinces) in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. ... The Sahara is the worlds second largest desert (second to Antarctica), over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), located in northern Africa and is 2. ... The Okavango River is a river in southwest Africa. ... The Kalahari Basin (shown in orange) The Kalahari Basin (or Kalahari Depression) is a large lowland area covering over 2. ... The Greater Lakes and the East African coastline as seen from space. ... Arabia redirects here. ... This article is about the mountain range in South America. ...


Importance of drainage basins

Geopolitical boundaries

Drainage basins have been important historically in determining boundaries, particularly in regions where trade by water has been important. For example, the English crown gave the Hudson's Bay Company a monopoly on the Indian Trade in the entire Hudson Bay watershed, an area called Rupert's Land. The company later acquired the North American watershed of the Arctic Ocean (the North-Western Territory). These lands later became part of Canada as the Northwest Territories, making up the vast majority of Canada's land area. Image File history File links Acap. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Hbc redirects here. ... From the earliest contacts by Europeans with native Americans trading was a major focus of activity especially in the case of the French, the British, the Hudsons Bay Company and the Dutch West India Company. ... New York Harbor, the outflow for Hudson River, is sometimes called Hudsons Bay. Hudson Bay, Canada. ... This article is about the trading territory. ... The North-Western Territory at its greatest extent, 1859 The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America until 1870. ... For the former United States territory, see Northwest Territory. ...


Currently the Sistan Basin stretches over the southern parts of Afghanistan and Iran. Satellite image of southern Afghanistan and Iran in dust storm The Sistan Basin is an inland endorheic basin encompassing large parts of south-western Afghanistan and south-eastern Iran, one of the driest regions in the world and an area subjected to prolonged droughts. ...


Shangrila Lake in Skardu Pakistan. Shangrila Resort, Skardu Shangrila Lake or Lower Kachura Lake is a part of the Shangrila resort located at a drive of about 20 minutes from Skardu (nearly 2500 m or 8,200 feet) town. ... Skardu Town as seen from the Skardu Fort Skardu (Urdu: سکردو) is the principle town and capital of Baltistan district, one of the districts making up Pakistans Northern Areas (also part of the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir). ...


Today, bioregional democracy can include agreements of states in a particular drainage basin to defend it. These include the Great Lakes Commission. Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of electoral reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent concerns about the economy, the body, and environmental concerns (e. ... Great Lakes. ...


Hydrology

Drainage basin of the Ohio River, part of the Mississippi River drainage basin.
Drainage basin of the Ohio River, part of the Mississippi River drainage basin.

In hydrology, the drainage basin is a logical unit of focus for studying the movement of water within the hydrological cycle, because the majority of water that discharges from the basin outlet originated as precipitation falling on the basin. A portion of the water that enters the groundwater system beneath the drainage basin may flow towards the outlet of another drainage basin because groundwater flow directions do not always match those of their overlying drainage network. Measurement of the discharge of water from a basin may be made by a stream gauge located at the basin's outlet. Image File history File links Ohiorivermap. ... Image File history File links Ohiorivermap. ... View of Pittsburgh, the largest metropolitan area on the Ohio River, where the Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join at Point State Park to form the Ohio River Cincinnati, Ohio is a well known city along the Ohio River, historically known for its riverboats. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... Water covers 70% of the Earths surface. ... The water cycle is known scientifically as the hydrologic cycle. ... A stream gage refers to a site along a stream where measurements of volumetric discharge (flow) are made. ...


Rain gauge data is used to measure total precipitation over a drainage basin, and there are different ways to interpret that data. If the gauges are many and evenly distributed over an area of uniform precipitation, using the arithmetic mean method will give good results. In the Thiessen polygon method, the watershed is divided into polygons with the rain gauge in the middle of each polygon assumed to be representative for the rainfall on the area of land included in its polygon. These polygons are made by drawing lines between gauges, then making perpendicular bisectors of those lines form the polygons. The isohyetal method involves contours of equal precipitation are drawn over the gauges on a map. Calculating the area between these curves and adding up the volume of water is time consuming. In mathematics and statistics, the arithmetic mean (or simply the mean) of a list of numbers is the sum of all the members of the list divided by the number of items in the list. ... This is the Voronoi diagram of a random set of points in the plane (all points lie within the image). ... Isohyetal map An isohyet or isohyetal line is a line joining points of equal precipitation on a map. ...


Ecology

The Mississippi River drains the largest area of any U.S. river, much of it agricultural regions. Agricultural runoff and other water pollution that flows to the outlet is the cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mississippi River drains the largest area of any U.S. river, much of it agricultural regions. Agricultural runoff and other water pollution that flows to the outlet is the cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Drainage basins are important elements to consider also in ecology. As water flows over the ground and along rivers it can pick up nutrients, sediment, and pollutants. Like the water, they get transported towards the outlet of the basin, and can affect the ecological processes along the way as well as in the receiving water source. Image File history File links Mississippi_River_basin. ... Image File history File links Mississippi_River_basin. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... Sediment from the Mississippi River carries fertilizer to the Gulf of Mexico Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the worlds oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities, which can be harmful to organisms and...


Modern usage of artificial fertilizers, containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, has affected the mouths of watersheds. The minerals will be carried by the watershed to the mouth and accumulate there, disturbing the natural mineral balance.


Resource management

Further information: Watershed management

Because drainage basins are coherent entities in a hydrological sense, it has become common to manage water resources on the basis of individual basins. In the U.S. state of Minnesota, governmental entities that perform this function are called watershed districts. In New Zealand, they are called catchment boards. Comparable community groups based in Ontario, Canada, are called conservation authorities. In North America this function is referred to as watershed management. In Brazil, the National Policy of Water Resources, regulated by Act n° 9.433 of 1997, establishes the drainage basin as territorial division of Brazilian water management. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Largest metro area Minneapolis-St. ... Watershed districts are special government entities in the U.S. state of Minnesota that monitor and regulate the use of water in watersheds surrounding various lakes and rivers in the state. ... Conservation Authorities are local, community-based environmental agencies based in Ontario Canada. ...


See also

In geomorphology, a drainage system is the pattern formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular watershed. ... A mainstem is defined as the principal river within a given drainage basin, in the case where a number of tributaries discharge into a larger watercourse. ... ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ drainage basin. www.uwsp.edu. Retrieved on 2008-02-21.
  2. ^ Lambert, David (1998). The Field Guide to Geology. Checkmark Books, pp 130–131. ISBN 0-8160-3823-6. 
  3. ^ Recommended Watershed Terminology. watershed.org. Retrieved on 2008-02-10.
  4. ^ What is a watershed and why should I care?. university of delaware. Retrieved on 2008-02-11.

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • DeBarry,Paul A. (2004). Watersheds: Processes, Assessment and Management. John Wiley & Sons.

External links

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. ... WRI is an initialism for: Wolfram Research, Inc. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Basin - MSN Encarta (784 words)
Basin may mean: Drainage basin, a hydrological basin or catchment basin, a region of land where water drains downhill into a specified body of water; Tarim Basin, located in...
The major drainage divides that separate the drainage of large continental areas are called continental divides.
Drainage basins that have no outlets to the sea are called interior basins.
Basin - Search View - MSN Encarta (3031 words)
Basins can be treated as open systems within which hydrological processes can be studied; an open system is a set of interrelated elements and processes that exchanges energy with its surroundings, and through which materials flow.
The elongation ratio is calculated by dividing the diameter of a circle of the same area as the drainage basin by the maximum length of the basin, measured from its outlet to its boundary.
Basins have provided the cradles of human development since the earliest known civilizations in Mesopotamia (the Tigris and Euphrates basins), Egypt (the Nile basin), India (the Indus and Ganges basins), and China (the Huang He, or Yellow River, and Yangzi basins).
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