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Water cycle or Hydrologic cycle process, components & Distribution

Water cycle or Hydrologic cycle

 

Water cycle or Hydrologic cycle process, components & Distribution

Water cycle or Hydrologic cycle is the Natural circulation of the earth’s water, in which water evaporates into the atmosphere, where it condenses and falls as rain(liquid) or snow(solid) ,returning to the sea by rivers or returning to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration. It is also called hydrologic cycle.

In other words, The continuous process by which water is circulated throughout the Earth and its atmosphere. The Earth’s water enters the atmosphere through evaporation from bodies of water like lake, ocean, rivers and from ground surfaces, Plants, animals and even also add water vapor to the air by transpiration. As it rises into the atmosphere, the water vapor condenses to form clouds. Rain and snow are the forms of precipitation return it to the Earth, where it flows into bodies of water and into the ground, beginning the cycle again.

How does water work in a water cycle ?

In the water Cycle / hydrologic cycle, water evaporates from oceans, lakes, swamps, rivers, plants,animals and even you, in the form of water vapor. The Water vapor condenses into millions of tiny droplets that form clouds. Clouds lose their water as snow or rain,and this process is called precipitation.

Components and Processes of the Water Cycle
ComponentsProcesses
Water storage in oceans

Evaporation

Transpiration

Sublimation

Water in the atmosphere

Condensation

Precipitation

Water storage in ice and snowSnowmelt runoff to streams
Surface runoffStream flow freshwater storage infiltration
Groundwater storageGroundwater discharge springs

 

The water cycle consists of three stages,viz

Stage 1 – Evaporation, as the sun’s heat converts liquid water from rivers, lakes and oceans into water vapor.

Stage 2 – Condensation. As the water vapor rises into the atmosphere, it cools and condenses into droplets of liquid water. Wind currents carry this water as clouds.

Stage 3 – Precipitation, in which water falls back to Earth as rain or snow.

Distribution of water on the surface of the earth
ReservoirPercentage of the totalVolume in Million Cubic km
Oceans97.251,370
Ice caps and glaciers2.0529
Groundwater0.689.5
Lakes0.010.125
Soil moisture0.0050.065
Atmosphere0.0010.013
Streams and Rivers0.00010.0017
Biosphere0.000040.0006

 

Why does the water cycle is never ending process?

The driving force of the water cycle is the fluctuation in heat from the sun. The water cycle process keeps going because cycles of day and night, the seasons and the movement of water in any of its forms changes its environment, specifically its temperature. It is a complex process, involving many stages. Solar warming of a large lake causes a large amount of water vapor to be released. Cold, dry winds above capture the moisture and cool it rapidly, causing it to condense into tiny water droplets. These droplets then freeze, forming clouds of ice crystals.

As these clouds are pushed toward shore, the ice crystals grow too large to keep suspended in the air and fall as snowflakes. Any hills along the shoreline force the air upward and increase the rate of snowfall. The snow falls on the shore, and when conditions are warm enough, begins to melt. The resulting liquid water either flows back into the lake or is absorbed as groundwater. Relatively this cycle known as lake effect snow. And it is a never ending cycle.

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