Some current themes in physical hydrology of the land-atmosphere interface



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Certain themes arise repeatedly in current literature dealing with the physical hydrology of the interface between the atmosphere and the continents. Papers contributed to the 1991 International Association of Hydrological Sciences Symposium on Hydrological Interactions between Atmosphere, Soil and Vegetation echo these themes, which are discussed in this paper. The land-atmosphere interface is the region where atmosphere, soil, and vegetation have mutual physical contact, and a description of exchanges of matter or energy among these domains must often consider the physical properties and states of the entire system. A difficult family of problems is associated with the reconciliation of the wide range of spatial scales that arise in the course of observational, theoretical, and modeling activities. These scales are determined by some of the physical elements of the interface, by patterns of natural variability of the physical composition of the interface, by the dynamics of the processes at the interface, and by methods of measurement and computation. Global environmental problems are seen by many hydrologists as a major driving force for development of the science. The challenge for hydrologists will be to respond to this force as scientists rather than problem-solvers.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Some current themes in physical hydrology of the land-atmosphere interface
Year Published:
Publ by IAHS
Publisher location:
Wallingford, United Kingdom
Larger Work Title:
IAHS Publication (International Association of Hydrological Sciences)
First page:
Last page:
Conference Title:
20th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
Conference Location:
Vienna, Austria
Conference Date:
11 August 1991 through 24 August 1991