You may think water is just water. But did you know water actually has it's own cycle? A cycle is a buch of systems combinded together to make a bigger system. The systems in the water cycle are: Evaporation, Water Vapor, Precipitation, Transpiration, Condensation, Energy, and Ground Water. This assignment is for me to tell you about each little system that creates the water cycle.
Evaporation- Evaporation is when warmth from the sun causes water from: lakes, streams, ice, and soils to turn into water vapor. Almost all precipitated water (80%) goes right back into the air because of evaporation. The rest runs of the land or soaks into the ground to become ground water.
Water Vapor- Water Vapor is water in a gas form that is held in the air until it is changed back into water. You know sometimes it is sticky outside in the summer, that is just water held in the air. The water can change into fine droplets by "condensing" in the air, and we get clouds. When the droplets get big enough, they are pulled to earth by gravity ad precipitation, better known as: rain, sleet, snow, hail, dew,or frost.
Precipiation- Precipitation is made up of any type of water that falls to earth like: snow, hail, mist, or rain. In Wisconsin they get about 30-32 inches of precipitation every year. Amazing isn't it? Most of it (80%) evaporates or transpires through plants and never reaches: lakes, streams,wetlands, rivers, or ground water. The rest, about 6-10 inches of precipitation, runs off the land and into: lakes, streams, wetlands, rivers, or soaks right into the ground. For every inch of water that runs off the land into surface water, three inches seep into the ground to the water table in Southern Wisconsin.
Transpiration- Transpiration happens when plants give off water vapor through tiny pores in their leaves. This is the plant's way of getting rid of waste, just like people and animals sweat when they're hot. This water vapor evaporates into the air and is stored in the atmosphere until it becomes clouds or precipitation.
Condensation- Condensation is the oppisite of evaporation. It takes place when water vapor in the air condenses from a gas, back into a liquid form, and leaves the atmosphere, returning from the surface of the earth.
Energy- The sun shines on water in: rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, and oceans, and makes the water into vapor or steam. The water vapor leaves: the lake, the ocean, or river, and goes into the air. Where it becomes a cloud.
Ground Water- Ground water is simply water under the ground where the soil is completely filled or saturated with water. This water is also called "aquifer." Ground water moves underground from areas where elevation is high, like a hilltop, to places that are lowland area's. Water movement is slow and might move anywhere from less than a millimeter a day up to a mile a day. Where the water table meets the land surface, aspring might bubble up or seep from the ground and flow into a lake, stream, woodland,or the ocean. Ground water that meets the land surface also helps keep: rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands filled with water.
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