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cuenca hídrica (geology)

Discussion in 'Specialized Terminology' started by Grey Fox, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Senior Member

    Argentine Patagonia
    UK - English
    Hi folks! I wonder if anyone could supply the correct term for this in English, please? I know what it means, but not being a geography/geology specialist, am not sure that "water basin" sounds right!

    Any suggestions gratefully received, many thanks!
  2. projectguy Senior Member

    English - Canada
    Watershed is the usual term.
  3. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Senior Member

    Argentine Patagonia
    UK - English
    Oh! That's very interesting! So nothing like the colloquial meaning of "watershed"?! In fact, looking it up in my Oxford Reference Dictionary, it doesn't really seem to fit:

    1. a line of separation between waters flowing to different rivers, basins or seas.
    2. a turning point in affairs; a crucial time or occurrence.

    So not really the idea of the "basin" itself, as the Spanish seems to suggest?
  4. Vampiro

    Vampiro Senior Member

    Emiratos Árabes
    Chile - Español
    No soy geólogo, pero para mi ambos términos (basin and watershed) son sinónimos en ese contexto.

    (Edito: "watershed" me parece más usual)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  5. jw64 Junior Member

    Tofino, Vancouver Island
    English - Canada
    Soy geóloga:

    I would say hydrologic basin, if you are also talking about all water flow: surface and subsurface.

    Watershed implies more surface water flow: rivers, streams.

    So it depends upon which one you mean. Obviously there is overlap between the two. "Hydrologic basin" is more geological, "watershed" is more geographical.
  6. mora Senior Member

    Canada, English
    In English, I do not believe 'watershed' and 'water basin' are the same thing, and the term in question translates as 'water basin' or 'hydrologic basin'.
  7. projectguy Senior Member

    English - Canada
    In my work, I encounter the term "cuenca hídrica" often, in the context of "watershed", which implies surface or near-surface water systems. So I know these are common equivalents in this context.

    I agree with jw64 and Mora that "watershed" is not appropriate for geologic water basins. The question for Grey Fox then, is: Is the context geology or geography (surface hydrology)? The title says geology but there is a geography/geology reference in the text that casts doubt on the intent. I assumed it was surface hydrology because that's where I see "cuenca hídrica" most.
  8. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    There is a problem with the word watershed which leads to confusion. In AE it seems to mean more often what in the UK we would call a river basin. In BE a watershed is the dividing line between different river systems - if rain falls on one side of a watershed it goes to a different river and possibly a different sea.
  9. kiwitrad Junior Member

    New Zealand English / Castellano chileno
    I would definitely lean more towards basin (New Zealand English)

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