Hydrologic Cycle Diagram


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  1. Evaporation is the change of state of water (a liquid) to water vapor (a gas). On average, about 47 inches (120 cm) is evaporated into the atmosphere from the ocean each year.

  2. Transpiration is evaporation of liquid water from plants and trees into the atmosphere. About 90% of all water that enters the roots transpires into the atmosphere.

  3. Sublimation is the process where ice and snow (a solid) changes into water vapor (a gas) without moving through the liquid phase.

  4. Condensation is the process where water vapor (a gas) changes back into a water droplets (a liquid). This is when we begin to see clouds.

  5. Transportation is the movement of solid, liquid and gaseous water through the atmosphere. Without this movement, the water evaporated over the ocean would not precipitate over land.

  6. Precipitation is water that falls to the earth. Most precipitation falls as rain but includes snow, sleet, drizzle, and hail. Around 313,000 mi3 (515,000 km3) of water falls each year, mainly over the ocean.

  7. Runoff is the variety of ways of which water moves over the earth's surface. This comes from melting snow or rain.

  8. Infiltration is the movement of water into the ground from the surface.

  9. Groundwater flow is the flow of water underground in aquifers. The water may return to the surface in springs or eventually seep into the oceans.

  10. Plant uptake is water taken from the groundwater flow and soil moisture.

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