Hydrology is the study of the distribution and movement of water quantities on and below the earth’s surface and in the atmosphere. Water flow patterns and water levels are key features of the aquatic environment, and changes to natural water systems can have significant effects on aquatic life. Understanding surface water flow patterns upstream, downstream and locally within the oil sands region is important when assessing ecosystem needs and monitoring aquatic conditions related to development.
Concepts presented in this section include:
- The hydrologic cycle
- Surface water hydrology
- Hydrology of the Athabasca oil sands region
- Human influence on water balance