The scientific discipline in the field of physical geography that deals with the water cycle is called hydrology. It is concerned with the origin, distribution, and properties of water on the globe. Consequently, the water cycle is also called the hydrologic cycle in many scientific textbooks and educational materials. Most people have heard of the science of meteorology and many also know about the science of oceanography because of the exposure that each discipline has had on television. People watch TV weather personalities nearly every day. Celebrities such as Jacques Cousteau have helped to make oceanography a commonly recognized science. In a broad context, the sciences of meteorology and oceanography describe parts of a series of global physical processes involving water that are also major components of the science of hydrology. Geologists describe another part of the physical processes by addressing groundwater movement within the planet's subterranean features. Hydrologists are interested in obtaining measurable information and knowledge about the water cycle. Also important is the measurement of the amount of water involved in the transitional stages that occur as the water moves from one process within the cycle to other processes. Hydrology, therefore, is a broad science that utilizes information from a wide range of other sciences and integrates them to quantify the movement of water. The fundamental tools of hydrology are based in supporting scientific techniques that originated in mathematics, physics, engineering, chemistry, geology, and biology. Consequently, hydrology uses developed concepts from the sciences of meteorology, climatology, oceanography, geography, geology, glaciology, limnology (lakes), ecology, biology, agronomy, forestry, and other sciences that specialize in other aspects of the physical, chemical or biological environment. Hydrology, therefore, is one of the interdisciplinary sciences that is the basis for water resources development and water resources management.
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