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34 terms

Freshwater Vocab.

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water cycle
continuos movement of water among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land surface through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation, driven by the sun's energy
transpiration
evaporation of water from inside the leaves of plants
runoff
water that flows over the ground surface rather than soaking into the ground
groundwater
water that fills the cracks and spaces in underground soil and rock layers
deposition
process by which sediments are laid down in a new location
erosion
process by which weathered rocks and solid paticles are carried to a new location
load
the amount of sediment carried by a river
watershed
land area in which runoff drains into a particular river system
rille
tiny stream
tributary
a stream or smaller river that feeds into a main river
source
beginning of a river
mouth
end of a river where it joins another larger body of water
alluvial fan
a wide sloping depsoit of sediment formed when a stream leaves a mountain range
delta
sediments deposited at the mouth of a river where it meets a larger body of water
levee
ridge of deposited sediments running parallel to the river
reservoir
artificial lake where freshwater is stored
saturated zone
underground region in which the pore spaces are filled with water
unsaturated zone
underground region in which the pore spaces ar filled mostly with air
water table
level below which the ground is saturated
meander
loop in a river
aquifer
layer of rock or sediment that allows water to pass through easily
artesian well
well from which water flows on its own without pumping
pollution
when harmful or unwanted substances contaminate a natural resource
flood plain
wide valley through which a river flows
oxbow lake
a meander cut off from a river
abrasion
the grinding away of rock by other rock particles
turbulence
a type of movement of water in which, rather than moving downstream, the water moves every which way
divide
a ridge of land that separates one watershed from another
wetland
a land area that is covered by a shallow layer of water during some or all of the year
permeable
characteristic of a material that is full of tiny, connected, air spaces that water can seep through
impermeable
characteristic of materials, such as clay and granite, through which water does not easily pass
spring
a place where groundwater flows to the surface
point source
a specific source of pollution that can be identified
nonpoint source
a widely spread source of pollution that is difficult to link to a specific point of origin