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A level geography - The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity - Key Terms
Terms in this set (70)
There is a transfer of energy but not of matter between the system and its surroundings
Receives inputs from and transfers outputs of energy and matter to other systems
Annual balance between inputs and outputs of the water system
Reservoirs where water is held, such as the oceans
The average time a water molecule will spend in a reservoir or store.
The rate of flow between the stores
The physical mechanisms that drive the fluxes of water between the stores.
Systems approaches study the hydrological phenomena by looking at the balance of inputs and outputs, and how water is moved between stores by flows.
Areas of the Earth where water is frozen into snow or ice.
Water that is stored in rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater in liquid form (the visible part of the hydrological cycle)
Water stored in the soil and vegetation (the invisible part of the hydrological cycle)
Ancient, deep groundwater from former pluvial (wetter) periods
The area of land drained by a river and its tributaries
The area within the drainage basin
The highland that separates waters flowing into different drainage basins
The source of a river
The point at which two rivers or streams join
The process by which vegetation prevents raindrops from falling directly on to the ground
Transfer of water from the surface or the soil into permeable bedrock beneath
Allows water to pass through it due to cracks or defects
Water that has collected to flow in a rivulet, stream or river
The movement of water that is unconfined by a channel across the surface of the ground. Also known as overland flow.
Water flowing over the surface
Change of state of water from a liquid to a gas
The diffusion of water from vegetation into the atmosphere, involving a change from a gas to a liquid
The movement of water in any form from the atmosphere to the ground
Often associated with intense thunderstorms, which occur widely in areas with ground heating such as the Tropics and continental interiors
Type of rainfall where warm, moist air is forced to rise over mountainous areas. As it rises, it cools and its ability to hold water vapour decreases, resulting in rainfall. Air descends on the other side of the mountain, and is warmed, becoming drier and creating a rain shadow
Type of rainfall where a cold polar air mass meets a warm tropical air mass, forming fronts. The lighter, warmer air rises above the denser, colder air and cools, causing clouds and rainfall
Movement of water from the ground surface into the soil
Maximum rate at which rain can be absorbed by the soil
Saturated overland flow
Occurs when soil becomes saturated and any additional precipitation causes runoff
The lateral transfer of water down slope through the soil via natural pipes and percolines.
Lines of concentrated water flow between soil horizons to the river channel.
Infiltration excess overland flow
Occurs when water enters a soil system faster then the soil can absorb or move it e.g. precipitation exceeds infiltration capacity
The transfer of water from the surface or from the soil into the bedrock beneath.
Removing too much water from a ground source
Changing the amount of precipitation by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation nuclei
Soil is full of water and cannot take in any more
Amount of precipitation that is actually added and stored in the soil, available for plants
River experiences a period of seasonally high discharge, followed by low discharge. Typically depends on glacial water, snowmelt or seasonal storms
Larger rivers cross different relief and climatic zones, experiencing the effects of different seasonal climatic events and human factors
Maximum rainfall on a storm hydrograph
Annual variation in discharge or flow of a river at a particular point or gauging station usually measured in cumecs
The time when the river reaches its highest flow
show the variation of discharge within a short period of time, normally an individual storm or a group of storms not more than a few days in length.
The part of a storm hydrograph in which the discharge starts to rise.
An extended period of deficient rainfall relative to the statistical multi year average of a region
The time interval between peak rainfall and peak discharge
Falling or recessional limb
The part of a storm hydrograph in which the discharge starts to decrease.
The normal, day to day discharge of the river
Based on the impact of drought conditions on the supply and demand of some economic goods. Demand exceeds supply due to water deficit
Associated with reduced stream flow and groundwater levels, which decrease because of reduced inputs of precipitation and continued high rates of evaporation. It results in reduced storage in lakes and reservoirs, often with marked salinisation and poorer water quality.
The rainfall deficiency from meteorological drought leads to deficiency of soil moisture and soil water availability, which has a knock-on effect on plant growth and reduces biomass.
Shortfalls in precipitation as a result of short-term variability, or longer-term trends, which increase the duration of the dry period. Precipitation deficiency is usually combined with high temperatures, high winds strong sunshine and low relative humidity, all of which increase evaporation.
A humanitarian crisis in which the widespread failure of agricultural systems leads to food shortages and famines with severe social, economic and environmental impacts.
In atmospheric science, refers to climate anomalies which relate to each other at large distances
Surface water flooding
Flooding that occurs when intense rainfall has insufficient time to infiltrate the soil, so flows overland.
A measure of the proportion of the incoming solar radiation that is reflected by the surface back into the atmosphere and space
When the sunlight reflected by white ice is suddenly absorbed as ice melts to become the dark surface of open water
Flooding that occurs after the ground has become saturated from prolonged heavy rainfall.
Flooding with exceptionally short lag time
Land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities
An area of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt
Type of glacial outburst flood that occurs when a dam containing a glacial lake fails
Seasonal change in the direction of prevailing winds of a world region, causing wet and dry seasons
The increase in the number of people living in towns and cities compared to the number of people living in the countryside
A state of ill health
Where a cold front 'catches up' with a warm front
Excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other
body of water, frequently due to run-off from farming land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen.
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