Environmental Chemistry – Hydrological cycle

Welcome to the COMPETITIVE EXAM MCQs SERIES of ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE for UGC-NET/JRFSLETGATE, and other entrance tests. This quiz consists of 25 concept-based MCQs about the Hydrological cycle, an important topic in environmental chemistry.

Syllabus outline

  1. Precipitation and its types, methods for its measurement, and the influence of climate change.
  2. Evaporation, transpiration and their interactions with land cover.
  3. Factors affecting runoff and streamflow.
  4. Infiltration and groundwater with a focus on contamination issues.
  5. Water balance, hydrological modelling, and their association with climate change.
  6. Water resources assessment, strategies for effective management, and conservation techniques.

This quiz contains the concept-based most frequently asked 25 MCQs of Environmental Chemistry – Hydrological cycle. Each question has a single correct/most appropriate answer.

1. Which hydrological infrastructure is often designed considering cyclone precipitation and its potential impacts?

a) Dams and reservoirs

b) Solar panels

c) Irrigation canals

d) Wind turbines

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2. What is the term for the total amount of water vapour in the atmosphere at a given time and place?

a) Specific humidity

b) Relative humidity

c) Humidity

d) Absolute humidity

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3. What is the advantage of using a multispectral remote-sensed approach in hydrological study?

a) It provides accurate gauged discharge data

b) It is sensitive to the accuracy of the DEM in dryland landscapes

c) It allows for classification at various spatial scales

d) It is not dependent on infrastructure or complex models

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4. The water-energy nexus refers to the interdependence of water and energy resources. Which of the following statements is true regarding this concept?

a) Water and energy resources are separate and do not affect one another.

b) Water and energy resources are interlinked and influence each other.

c) Water use has no impact on energy production.

d) Energy production has no impact on water resources.

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5. What is the term for the process by which water droplets combine to form larger drops in clouds, eventually leading to precipitation?

a) Evaporation

b) Condensation

c) Transpiration

d) Coalescence

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6. What is the main driver of ocean currents in the hydrological cycle?

a) Earth’s rotation

b) Solar radiation

c) Salinity differences

d) Wind

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7. Which of the following is a primary factor influencing the evaporation rate?

a) Wind speed

b) Cloud cover

c) Groundwater levels

d) Air pressure

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8. Which of the following factors can influence the isotopic composition of precipitation and help in hydrological research?

a) Elevation

b) Atmospheric pressure

c) Solar radiation

d) Ocean currents

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9. The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico is primarily caused by:

a) Undersea volcanoes

b) Oil spills

c) Excessive algal blooms

d) Elevated sea surface temperatures

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10. What is the role of atmospheric aerosols in the hydrological cycle?

a) They act as cloud condensation nuclei.

b) They promote evaporation.

c) They do not affect the hydrological cycle.

d) They inhibit cloud formation.

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11. The term riparian zone refers to:

a) The zone where oil spills occur in oceans

b) A zone with rapid water evaporation

c) A vegetated area near a water body

d) The area around a ripened fruit tree

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12. What is meant by an interception in the hydrological cycle?

a) Water infiltrating the soil

b) Water held on leaves and stems of plants before falling to the ground

c) Water flowing in rivers and streams

d) Water absorbed by plants from the soil

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13. The term baseflow refers to:

a) The flow of water from surface reservoirs to the atmosphere

b) The slow and steady flow of water in rivers and streams between storm events

c) The flow of water from underground aquifers to the surface

d) The flow of water in rivers and streams during a storm event

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14. Which machine learning algorithm is well-suited for time series forecasting in hydrology?

a) K-Means Clustering

b) Recurrent Neural Networks

c) Decision Trees

d) Naive Bayes

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15. Assertion (A): Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are commonly used in hydrology to predict rainfall patterns.

Reasoning (R): CNNs are well-suited for analyzing spatial data, such as radar images, to forecast precipitation.

a) Both A and R are true, and the R is the correct explanation of the A.

b) The A is false, but the R is true.

c) The A is true, but the R is false.

d) Both A and R are true, but the R is not the correct explanation of the A.

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16. Which evaluation metric is commonly used to assess the performance of hydrological models, particularly for flood forecasting?

a) F1 Score

b) Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve

c) Mean Squared Error

d) Mean Absolute Error

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17. Assertion (A): Gradient Boosting algorithms are often used in hydrology to improve the accuracy of hydrological models.

Reasoning (R): Gradient Boosting combines the predictions of multiple weak models to create a strong ensemble model.

a) Both A and R are true, and the R is the correct explanation of the A.

b) The A is false, but the R is true.

c) Both A and R are true, but the R is not the correct explanation of the A.

d) The A is true, but the R is false.

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18. What is the key purpose of identifying, characterizing, and mapping hydrological zones?

a) To analyze the impact of water development on the river

b) To determine the connectivity of persistent pools in the river

c) To assess the ecological health of the river

d) To understand the spatial distribution of different hydrological conditions

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19. Which of the following is generally not a stage of the Hydrological Cycle?

a) Desiccation

b) Evaporation

c) Infiltration

d) Sublimation

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20. Which of the following is NOT a major reservoir in the global hydrological cycle?

a) Lakes

b) Glaciers

c) Rivers

d) Oceans

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21. The Köppen climate classification system is used to categorize climates based on:

a) Water availability

b) Wind speed and direction

c) Temperature and precipitation patterns

d) Ocean currents

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22. The concept of virtual water refers to:

a) Water that exists only in virtual reality simulations

b) The water content of clouds

c) The water found in virtual aquifers deep underground

d) The water footprint of products

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23. What is the eye of the cyclone?

a) The point of maximum wind speed

b) The location of heaviest rainfall

c) The region of the cyclone with the calmest weather

d) The outermost boundary of the cyclone

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24. The Arctic Amplification effect refers to:

a) The cooling of the Arctic region due to increased ice cover

b) The decrease in greenhouse gas concentrations in the Arctic

c) The decrease in sea levels in the Arctic

d) The warming of the Arctic region at a faster rate than the rest of the planet

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25. The concept of managed aquifer recharge involves:

a) Injecting stormwater into aquifers

b) Pumping water from aquifers at a rapid rate

c) Allowing aquifers to recharge naturally

d) Preventing any infiltration of water into aquifers

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Next: Water as a universal solvent


  1. Sharma, B. K. (2018) Environmental Chemistry, Goel Publishing House, 2nd edition.
  2. Tyagi, Anil K. (2018) Environmental Science and Engineering, Khanna Publishers, 3rd edition.
  3. Reddy, M. Anji (2016) Principles of Environmental Chemistry, BS Publications, 4th edition.
  4. Manhas, M. S. (2018) Environmental Science: Problems and Solutions, Rawat Publications, 1st edition.
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