Subsurface water, an active agent in many geologic proceses, must be considered in interpreting geologic phenomena. Principles of the occurrence, distribution, and movement of subsurface waters are well established and readily applicable. In many interpretations in geologic literature, geohydrologic principles have been employed realistically, but in many others these principles have been either ignored or violated. Explanations of genesis of underclays and associated deposits afford some examples wherein principles of movement and activity of vadose and ground water have been ignored and others in which they have been used advantageously. Postulates stating that waters percolate downward from swamp areas do not allow for the usual movement of subsurface water in such environments. The idea that sediments were leached by vadose water after uplift satisfies the geohydrologic requirements. Weathering and solution form porous and permeable zones subjacent to unconformities in dense rocks such as carbonates and granites; this illustrates the geohydrologic and economic significance of unconformities. Examples are Mohawkian carbonate aquifers of northern Illinois and oil-bearing limestones of Mississippian age of eastern Montana. The flushing effects of meteoric water and other hydrodynamic factors active during erosion periods are important elements in the genesis and concentration of brines. Explanation of the origin and occurrence of brines must include consideration of the geohydrologic environments throughout their geologic history. ?? 1963.