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22 terms

Earth's Waters: Chapter 1

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water vapor
the invisible, gaseous form of water
groundwater
water that fills the cracks and pores in underground soil and rock layers
atom
smallest particle of an element that has the characteristics of that element; basic building block of all matter
element
a substance made up of only one kind of atom
compound
two or more elements that are chemically combined
polar molecule
a molecule that has electrically charged areas
surface tension
the tightness across the surface of water that is caused by the polar molecules pulling on each other
capillary action
the combined force of attraction among water molecules and with the molecules of surrounding materials
solution
a mixture that forms when one substance dissolves another
solvent
a substance that dissolves another substance, forming a solution
state
is a form of matter; solid, liquid, or gas
solid
state of matter with a definite shape and volume
liquid
state of matter that has no definite shape but has a definite volume
gas
state of matter with no definite shape or volume
melting
occurs when matter changes from its solid to its liquid state
boiling
occurs when matter changes from a liquid to a gas throughout the entire sample
evaporation
occurs when molecules at the surface of a substance change from a liquid to a gas state
condensation
occurs when a gas changes into a liquid state
freezing
occurs when a liquid changes into a solid state
water cycle
a continuous process by which water moves through the living and nonliving parts of the environment
transpiration
the process by which plants release water vapor through their leaves
precipitation
water that falls to Earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail