A catchment, or drainage basin, is defined as an area that collects precipitation and drains it into a network of water channels. This network often drains into a larger outlet, such as a river, reservoir, or body of water. Catchments are usually open systems and precipitation and other materials flow freely into and out of the system.
The surface topography of an area determines the size of a catchment area. A catchment area is bound by raised natural features, such as hills or mountains, off of which precipitation flows into a drainage network in an area of depression. Large catchments can be composed of smaller sub-catchments. Sub-catchments feed tributaries, which are small streams that feed larger streams or rivers.
Figure 1. A diagram of a catchment area, or drainage basin, of the Latorița River in Romania.
- ↑ Wagener, T., Sivapalan, M., Troch, P., & Woods, R. "Catchment Classification and Hydrologic Similarity," Geography Compass, vol. 1, p. 2, 2007. [Online]. Available: http://water.engr.psu.edu/wagener/PublicationsPDFs/GeographyCompass2007%20Wagener%20et%20al.pdf. [Accessed: 07-Mar-2018 ].
- ↑ Waikato Regional Council, New Zealand Government. "Understanding Your Catchment". [Online]. Available: https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/assets/PageFiles/5949/04understanding.pdf. [Accessed: 07-Mar-2018 ].
- ↑ Wikimedia Commons [Online], Available: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EN_Bazinul_hidrografic_al_Raului_Latorita,_Romania.jpg Accessed March 16th, 2018.