Skip to main content
Select Source:

catchment area

catchment area or drainage basin, area drained by a stream or other body of water. The limits of a given catchment area are the heights of land—often called drainage divides, or watersheds—separating it from neighboring drainage systems. The amount of water reaching the river, reservoir, or lake from its catchment area depends on the size of the area, the amount of precipitation, and the loss through evaporation (determined by temperature, winds, and other factors and varying with the season) and through absorption by the earth or by vegetation; absorption is greater when the soil or rock is permeable than when it is impermeable. A permeable layer over an impermeable layer may act as a natural reservoir, supplying the river or lake in very dry seasons. The catchment area is one of the primary considerations in the planning of a reservoir for water-supply purposes.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"catchment area." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"catchment area." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/catchment-area

"catchment area." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/catchment-area

catchment

catchment The area from which a surface watercourse or a groundwater system derives its water. Catchments are separated by divides. A surface catchment area may overlie an aquifer system, but may be unconnected with the aquifer rock itself if there are intervening impermeable aquicludes. In US usage a catchment is often termed a ‘watershed’; in Britain the term ‘drainage basin’ is commonly used.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"catchment." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"catchment." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment-0

"catchment." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment-0

catchment

catchment The area from which a surface watercourse or a groundwater system derives its water. Catchments are separated by divides. A surface catchment area may overlie an aquifer system, but may be unconnected with the aquifer rock itself if there are intervening impermeable aquicludes. In US usage, a catchment is often termed a ‘watershed’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"catchment." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"catchment." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment

"catchment." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment

catchment area

catchment area (kach-mĕnt) n. the geographic area from which a hospital can expect to receive patients and on which (in Britain) the designated population of the hospital is based.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"catchment area." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"catchment area." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment-area

"catchment area." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment-area

catchment

catch·ment / ˈkachmənt; ˈkech-/ • n. the action of collecting water, esp. the collection of rainfall over a natural drainage area.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"catchment." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"catchment." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment

"catchment." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catchment