Watersheds and Hydrologic Cycle

Compiled by Mark Francek (more info) at Carleton College (more info) (SERC) and Central Michigan University (more info)

Find animations showing the hydrologic cycle, how watersheds are delineated, and film footage of a trip down the Rhine River watershed.

Click here to browse the complete set of Visualization Collections.

Hydrologic Cycle and Ground Water Animation ( This site may be offline. ) A QuickTime animation with accompanying audio outlines the basic pathways associated with the hydrologic cycle. The second part of the video focuses on groundwater, discussing such terms as infiltration, percolation, and groundwater table. Contamination issues are also introduced. The idealized flow lines shown in cross section should be viewed with caution, especially for limestone and glacial terrains where groundwater flow can be much more circuitous. The animation loads slowly.

Watershed Delineation (more info) This Flash animation first drapes a watershed boundary upon a mountainous landscape and then shows how, after rainfall, surface runoff becomes funneled into a hierarchical drainage net. The watershed's trunk stream leaves the confines of the basin to drain adjacent watersheds.

The Hydrologic Cycle (more info) Simple animations, concept maps, modeled data and photographs describing, in detail, the hydrologic cycle. Sections include evaporation, condensation, precipitation, groundwater, runoff, and much more.

San Antonio Water System Flash Animations (more info) Water education animations produced for the San Antonio Water System. Animations are not specific to San Antonio and could be used in any hydrologic cycle unit.