Parametric Hydrology and Stochastic Hydrology

Committee on Surface Water Hydrology

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1965, Vol. 91, Issue 6, Pg. 119-122

Document Type: Journal Paper


The term synthetic hydrology has evolved as a catch-all label for the newer techniques that have been developed to generate hydrologic data or sequences of hydrologic events by means other than direct measurement or observation. There has been some dissatisfaction with this term because of its vagueness and because of the undesirable connotation of fictitious or not genuine that is evoked by the word synthetic. In an effort to overcome this dissatisfaction, the Committee on Surface Water Hydrology of the Hydraulics Division of ASCE obtained suggestions for a more desirable terminology from leading hydrologists. There was unanimity concerning the need to eliminate the term synthetic and to differentiate between the two broad techniques of modern hydrology; one technique is concerned primarily with the relationships of physical parameters, while the other is concerned primarily with the statistical or probability characteristics of the hydrologic events. The suggested terms most favored were parametric hydrology for the first technique and stochastic hydrology for the second. The Committee tentatively recommends the use of this suggested terminology.

Subject Headings: Hydrology | Parameters (statistics) | Stochastic processes | Hydrologic data | Terminology and definition | Surface water | Hydraulics

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search