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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-308
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-308
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Jul 2020

06 Jul 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The era of Infiltration

Keith Beven Keith Beven
  • Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Abstract. Inspired by a quotation from Howard Cook in 1946, this paper traces the evolution of the infiltration theory of runoff from the work of Robert Horton and LeRoy Sherman in the 1930s to the early digital computer models of the 1970s and 1980s. The reasons for the popularity of the infiltration theory are considered, as well as its impact on the way in which hydrological responses were perceived by several generations of hydrologists. Reconsideration of the perceptual model for many catchments, partly as a result of the greater appreciation of the contribution of subsurface flows to the hydrograph indicated by tracer studies, suggests a more precise utilisation of hydrological terms and, in particular, that the use of runoff and surface runoff should be avoided.

Keith Beven

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Keith Beven

Keith Beven

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Latest update: 25 Oct 2020
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Inspired by a quotation from Howard Cook in 1946, this paper traces the evolution of the infiltration theory of runoff from the work of Robert Horton and LeRoy Sherman in the 1930s to the early digital computer models of the 1970s and 1980s. Reconsideration of the perceptual model for many catchments, partly as a result of the greater appreciation of the contribution of subsurface flows to the hydrograph indicated by tracer studies, suggests a reconsideration of hydrological nomenclature.
Inspired by a quotation from Howard Cook in 1946, this paper traces the evolution of the...
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