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Activity Discussion Environment Water cycle

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  • Tinkle

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    May 4, 2024 at 12:08 pm
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    The water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle, is the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the Earth’s surface. It describes the processes by which water circulates through the environment, changing its state and location.

    The water cycle consists of several interconnected steps:

    1. Evaporation: The cycle begins when heat from the sun causes water to evaporate from oceans, lakes, rivers, and other water bodies, as well as from plants and soil. Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid to a vapor or gas.

    2. Condensation: As the water vapor rises into the atmosphere, it cools down and condenses into tiny water droplets, forming clouds. Condensation occurs when water vapor changes from a gas to a liquid.

    3. Precipitation: When the water droplets in clouds become too heavy, they fall to the Earth’s surface as precipitation. Precipitation can take various forms, such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail, depending on the temperature and atmospheric conditions.

    4. Runoff: After precipitation reaches the Earth’s surface, it may flow over the land as runoff, moving downhill and collecting in rivers, streams, and lakes. Some of the runoff seeps into the ground to become groundwater.

    5. Infiltration: Infiltration refers to the process by which water soaks into the ground and is absorbed by the soil. It replenishes underground water sources and can eventually reach aquifers, which are underground layers of permeable rock or sediment that hold water.

    6. Transpiration: Transpiration is the release of water vapor into the atmosphere by plants. Through tiny openings called stomata in their leaves, plants lose moisture as they perform photosynthesis. This moisture contributes to the water vapor in the atmosphere.

    The water cycle is an essential natural process that maintains the Earth’s water balance and ensures the availability of freshwater for various ecosystems and human activities. It plays a crucial role in distributing water resources around the planet, influencing weather patterns, and regulating the global climate.

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