Book review: Hydrology: Principles and Processes

Keith Beven, revered hydrologist and Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Lancaster Environment Centre, shares his thoughts on the book Hydrology: Principles and Processes (2017).

Mark Robinson and Roy Ward are well known in hydrological circles for the several editions of their Principles of Hydrology book, the last of which appeared in 2011.  Now a change in publisher has allowed them to produce a completely revised version with a new title but with the same clear presentation. The book covers water quantity and water quality with an introductory chapter on the history of hydrology and final new chapter on Hydrology in a Changing World where the importance of water in a future world is stressed. The structure and approach is largely classical, but with reference to modern thought about hydrological processes, including groundwater in fractured rocks, the role of macropores in soils, and the displacement of old water and its effects on water quality. The text is full of carefully chosen and relevant references, significantly updated since the last book. The discussion is mostly discursive, but with the presentation of relevant equations to describe processes where appropriate, without making the book unduly mathematical. A good range of clearly drawn graphics helps to illustrate the discussion. This makes the level suitable for a first university course in hydrology for a wide range of students in geography and environmental science degrees. Each chapter is associated with a list of review problems and discussion topics, while reference is made to a wide range of relevant web sites, from sources of open data and model codes, and international hydrological organisations. The book represents an excellent summary of our current understanding of hydrological processes presented in a clear and concise way.

Professor Keith Beven, Lancaster University

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