Geology 127 (Hydrogeology)

California State University, Sacramento

Week 1:

Hydrologic cycle,

water budgets


Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Use appropriate significant figures when estimating hydrologic parameters.

  • Calculate volumes and estimate storage, given simple water budget parameters.

  • List and describe the components of the hydrologic cycle.

  • Describe how each component is quantified.

  • Analyze input and output variables that affect water storage in a basin.

  • Distinguish between overland flow, interflow, baseflow and underflow.

  • Create a water budget for a basin.

  • Discuss the geologic and biologic factors that control infiltration.

Reading Assignments:

Lecture 1: Fetter, pp. 1-11, pp. 24-33

Water use graphics:

Water use


Class notes:

Hydrologic cycle and water budget part 1

Hydrologic cycle and water budget part 2


Homework Assignment:

Homework Assignment #1:

Topic: Volume estimates, conversions, significant figures and water budgets.


Assignment:  Homework #1


Due date: Friday, Aug. 31


Grading and credit for homework:

This homework assignment is worth 100 points.  Partial credit may be given for incomplete answers, but you will need to show your work to get partial credit.  Use the following format for your problem sets:


Hints for homework:  Use pencil!  If you use graph paper or engineering paper it may be be easier to lay out the problem.  Set up the problem so there is a flow from the top to the bottom.  Keep a good eraser handy, and write neatly.


Follow these steps:

- Summarize or re-state the problem at the top.

- List equations and variables

- Perform conversions as necessary.

- Solve equations.

- Reduce to appropriate significant figures.

- Put a box around your final answer (at the bottom)


If you need a review of significant figures, click here!

Guide to significant figures

Homework solution Click here for the homework solution: