Essay about Understanding Water Cycle

Submitted By ArianaGoodman
Words: 350
Pages: 2

Precipitation is condensed water vapor that falls to the Earth's surface. Most precipitation occurs as rain, but also includes snow, hail, fog drip, graupel, and sleet. Approximately 505,000 km³ of water fall as precipitation each year, 398,000 km³ of it over the oceans.

* Canopy interception is the precipitation that is intercepted by plant foliage and eventually evaporates back to the atmosphere rather than falling to the ground.

* Snowmelt refers to the runoff produced by melting snow.

* Runoff includes the variety of ways by which water moves across the land. This includes both surface runoff and channel runoff. As it flows, the water may infiltrate into the ground, evaporate into the air, become stored in lakes or reservoirs, or be extracted for agricultural or other human uses.

* Infiltration is the flow of water from the ground surface into the ground. Once infiltrated, the water becomes soil moisture or groundwater.

* Subsurface Flow is the flow of water underground, in the vadose zone and aquifers. Subsurface water may return to the surface (eg. as a spring or by being pumped) or eventually seep into the oceans. Water returns to the land surface at lower elevation than where it infiltrated, under the force of gravity or gravity induced pressures. Groundwater tends to move slowly, and is replenished slowly, so it can remain in aquifers for thousands of years.

* Evaporation is the transformation of water from liquid to gas phases as it moves from the