13 terms

Water Cycle

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water cycle
the continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back, passing through living the living and nonliving parts of the environment
-also known as the hydrologic cycle
evaporation
The process when the sun heats up the water in rivers, lakes, and oceans and turns it into vapor or steam.
-changing a liquid to water vapor (gas)
-gain heat energy from the sun
condensation
Water vapor cools as it rises in the air. As it reaches the dew point, the water vapor will condense around dust particles and form clouds.-
-Changing water vapor to a liquid
-loss of heat energy, water vapor cools to its dew point
precipitation
forms of water such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail that fall from clouds and reach Earth surface
-air temperature determines what type of precipitation will hit the Earth's surface
-gravity pulls precipitation to the Earth's surface
infiltration
process where rain water soaks into the ground, through the soil and underlying rock layers
runoff
water that flows over the ground surface rather than soaking into the ground
transpiration
the process by which plants release water vapor through their leaves
accumulation
also called storage; the water that falls from the sky is stored in rivers, lakes and oceans
sun
the source of all energy; it drives the water cycle
hydrology
The branch of geology that studies water on the earth and in the atmosphere: its distribution and uses and conservation
hydrosphere
Zone that includes all waters on Earth (including oceans, lakes, rivers, stream, water vapor)
water vapor
the invisible, gaseous (gas) form of water
evapotranspiration
The sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth's land and ocean surface to the atmosphere

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