Water Cycle

Topics: Water, Hydrology, Groundwater Pages: 4 (1529 words) Published: February 10, 2013
Class Activity 1: The Water Cycle
Water is neither destroyed nor created; it is only transformed into different states as it moves through the environment in a process called the Water Cycle. This cycle is also technically known as the hydrologic cycle or H20 cycle, which is the period of travel that water undertakes as it circulates from the land to the sky and back again. To elaborate on this, an explanation of this recurring period of time would be that the Sun (being the cause and guide of the movement) provides energy from its heat, to evaporate water from the Earth’s surface, Evaporation continuously moves water from the surface to the atmosphere, and water evaporates as water vapor into the air. Plants also lose water to the air as water is transpired, Evapotranspiration is when water is transpired from plants and evaporated from the soil. Gas rises and cools as rising air currents take the vapor into the atmosphere, where water vapor eventually condenses from the cooler temperatures, forming tiny droplets into clouds called condensation. When air currents cause water vapor to move around the globe, the clouds get heavy therefore precipitation (rain, sleet, or snow) is triggered (all forms of moisture from the sky), as cloud particles collide, grow and fall out of the sky, therefore water returns to the land or sea. Most of this water soaks into the ground as infiltration, where some of it flows over the ground as surface runoff. Some of this precipitation saturates deep into the ground and replenishes aquifers (wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials such as gravel, sand silt or clay). In this manner it stores freshwater for long periods of time, some water becomes ground water (underground water which is trapped between rocks or clay layers). Although an abundant amount of the water flows downhill as runoff, previously mentioned as above ground or underground, in the course of time this returns to the seas as...
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