The Water Cycle


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The Water Cycle

  1. 1. THE WATER CYCLE The Water Cycle (also known as the hydrologic cycle) is the journey water takes as it circulates from the land to the sky and back again. The Sun's heat provides energy to evaporate water from the Earth's surface (oceans, lakes, etc.). Plants also lose water to the air (this is called transpiration). The water vapor eventually condenses, forming tiny droplets in clouds. When the clouds meet cool air over land, precipitation (rain, sleet, or snow) is triggered, and water returns to the land (or sea). Some of the precipitation soaks into the ground. Some of the underground water is trapped between rock or clay layers; this is called groundwater. But most of the water flows downhill as runoff (above ground or underground), eventually returning to the seas as slightly salty water.
  2. 2. Evaporation: Evaporation is when the sun heats up water in rivers or lakes or the ocean and turns it into vapor or steam. The water vapor or steam leaves the river, lake or ocean and goes into the air. Do plants sweat? Well, sort of.... people perspire (sweat) and plants transpire. Transpiration is the process by which plants lose water out of their leaves. Transpiration gives evaporation a bit of a hand in getting the water vapor back up into the air. Condensation: Water vapor in the air gets cold and changes back into liquid, forming clouds. This is called condensation. Precipitation: Precipitation occurs when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore. The clouds get heavy and water falls back to the earth in the form of rain, hail, sleet or snow.
  3. 3. Collection: When water falls back to earth as precipitation, it may fall back in the oceans, lakes or rivers or it may end up on land. When it ends up on land, it will either soak into the earth and become part of the “ground water” that plants and animals use to drink or it may run over the soil and collect in the oceans, lakes or rivers where the cycle starts All over again.
  4. 4. Label Water Cycle Diagram Water Cycle Page Read the definitions below, and then label the water cycle diagram. Accumulation - the process in which water pools in large bodies (like oceans, seas and lakes). Condensation - the process in which water vapor (a gas) in the air turns into liquid water. Condensing water forms clouds in the sky. Water drops that form on the outside of a glass of icy water are condensed water. (This term appears twice in the diagram.) Evaporation - the process in which liquid water becomes water vapor (a gas). Water vaporizes from the surfaces of oceans and lakes, from the surface of the land, and from melts in snow fields. Precipitation - the process in which water (in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail) falls from clouds in the sky. Subsurface Runoff - rain, snow melt, or other water that flows in underground streams, drains, or sewers. Surface Runoff - rain, snow melt, or other water that flows in surface streams, rivers, or canals. Transpiration - the process in which some water within plants evaporates into the atmosphere. Water is first absorbed by the plant's roots, then later exits by evaporating through pores in the plant. Copyright ©2001-2009 ------ How to cite a web page
  5. 5. Find It! Quiz answer the following questions. The Word Starts Hint Answer With this Letter A substance that is very important to us. We need it to live, and it W covers over two thirds of the _____________________________ surface of the Earth. A large body of water on the O surface of the earth. _____________________________ A process in which liquid water E turns into water vapor (a gas). _____________________________ In transpiration, water from these P objects evaporates into the _____________________________ atmosphere. A fluffy-looking object in the sky that contains tiny water droplets or C ice particles. It´s formed when _____________________________ water vapor condenses. This type of precipitation is water R that falls from clouds in a liquid _____________________________ state. This type of precipitation is water S that falls from clouds in a fluffy, _____________________________ frozen state. A large, slowly-moving river of G ice. _____________________________ A large, flowing body of water R that usually empties into a sea or _____________________________ ocean. The process in which water circulates from the oceans to the W clouds to the land to the rivers, _____________________________ and then accumulates back into the oceans. ©Maribel Gordillo & Maggie Nowicki 2010