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Name _________________________________________________

Date ______________________

The Water Cycle


http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/mwater.htm
l
Where is Earths Water?
1. What does it mean that the Earth is a closed system, like a terrarium? _it means that
we have little space like terrarium___________________________
2. How does water the water amount from millions of years ago compare to todays
water amount? _the amount we had before was more than we have now because of
all the people using water these days.
3. Out of all the water on Earth, what percentage is usable by humans?
_2.5%____________________________
4.Of the water usable by humans, where is the largest percentage of that water found?
_in surface water_______________
5. Complete the following diagram:
3.0

2.5

0.26

1.2
0.49

0.9

2.6

30.
3.8

96.5
68.7

69.0

6. Of the freshwater, where is most of the water tied up? _in ice_________________
7. Of the remaining freshwater, where is the largest majority of that water found? _in
surface water_______
8. What percentage of freshwater is found as surface water? _1.2%________________
9. Compare the amount of freshwater to the amount of saltwater in cubic kilometers:
_fresh water is 68.7% and salt water is 69%______________

How Much Water Is There?


1. How much of the Earths surface is covered by water? _71%______________
2. Besides the ocean, where else does water exist? _water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in
icecaps and glaciers___________________________________________
3. Where does most of the water people and other life on Earth come from? _from
oceans___________
4. Compare the amount of groundwater to surface water: _groundwater is 96% and
surface water is 71%_
5. What term is used for the storage place of groundwater? _groundwater
storage_________
6. How is groundwater recharged? _water moves downward from surface water to groundwater
7. How does groundwater recharge rivers? _Tree roots increase water saturation
into groundwater reducing water runoff. Flooding temporarily increases river bed permeability_________
8. In 2005, how much surface water did the United States use? _275 billion gallons
9. In the same time period, how much groundwater did people use? _79 billion
gallons______________

The Water Cycle


What is another term used for the water cycle? _hydraulic cycle______________________
Atmosphere
1. Which two processes changes liquid water into vapor which then rises into the atmosphere?
_evaporation and transportation_______________________
2. Which process produces the majority of the vapor in the atmosphere? _conduction_________
3. What percentage of vapor does transpiration add to the atmosphere? _precipitation _______
4. If all the water in the atmosphere rained down and covered the Earth, how deep would it be?
_12,900 cubic kilometers _____________________________________
Condensation
1. Define condensation: _is the process by which water vapor in the air is changed into liquid
water. __________________________________________________________
2. Why is condensation an important part of the water cycle? _ because it is responsible for the
formation of clouds. ____________________________
3. Besides clouds, what else can happen due to condensation? _ground-level fog_______
Evaporation
1. Define evaporation: _ is when the sun heats up water in rivers or lakes or the ocean and turns it into

vapor or steam. ___________________________________________________________


2. Where does most of the evaporated water come from? _ oceans, seas, lakes, and river______
3. What is necessary in order for evaporation to occur? _ Heat________________________
4. What percentage of the water evaporated from the ocean is transported over land and falls as
precipitation? _10%______________________________________________________________

5. How long does an evaporated water molecule stay in the air? _1 year___________________

Evapotranspiration
1. According to this website, define evapotranspiration: (beneath the diagram) _ is the sum of
evaporation and transpiration______________
2. Define transpiration: is essentially evaporation of water from plant leaves
3. How much water in the atmosphere is due to transpiration: _ about 3,000-4,000 gallons
4. How does a plant transpire? _ water is evaporating from the leaf surfaces
5. How much can an oak tree transpire during one day? _ 3,000-4,000 gallons_______________
Freshwater Storage
1. What bodies of water does surface water include: _rivers streams, etc._________________?
2. What processes are included in inflows to surface water? _seepage_______________
3. What processes are included in outflows of surface water? _runoff_________________________
Groundwater Discharge
1. Describe why groundwater is an important part of the water cycle: _ it is moving below your
feet right now. ______________________
2. Where is the majority of groundwater found? _ can be pumped and used by people.
3. When are aquifers formed? _ they can be contaminated by any chemical or toxic substance found on
the surface. _____________________________________________________
4. Explain how water becomes part of the groundwater: _. Some of it flows along the land surface to
streams or lakes________________________________
5. What percentage of freshwater is groundwater? _30%_______________________________
Groundwater Storage
1. Where does most of the water in groundwater come from? _ precipitation that infiltrates
downward from the land surface. ____________________________
2. Describe the difference between the saturated zone and the unsaturated zone: _the difference
between both is the amount they affect____________
3. What is the water table? _the level below which the ground is saturated with water.
_______________________________________________________

4. Label the diagram below:


presecpitation

Soil zone
Water table
Saturated

Ice, Snow, and Glaciers


1. What is meant by storage, in relation to the water cycle? _ water that is locked up in its
present state______________________________
2. Where is the 90% of Earths ice mass found? _ in Antarctica______________________________
3. Where is the rest of it found? _Greenland ice cap ____________________________________
4. What majority of freshwater is held in ice caps and glaciers? _10%______________________
Infiltration
1. What is happening to water during infiltration? _ infiltrates into the subsurface soil and rock.
2. What happens to water that infiltrates the shallow soil layer? _ it will gradually move vertically

and horizontally through the soil and subsurface material


3. What happens to the water that infiltrates deeper? _ recharges groundwater aquifers.
4. What is the greatest factor affecting infiltration? _ people who drill wells into the aquifer and use
the water for their purposes. ___________________________________
5. What happens to rain, once the soil is saturated? _water will move freely

Oceans
1. What percentage of water is found in the ocean? _97%_______________________________
2. What percentage of evaporated water comes from the ocean? _77%_____________________

Precipitation
1. What forms of water can precipitation take? _ clouds in the form of rain, freezing rain, sleet,

snow, or hail.
2. How does most precipitation fall? _with clouds that contains rain droplets__________________
3. What has to happen before water can fall as precipitation? _there has to be clouds with rain
drops_
4. How do water droplets grow? _its dependent on their environments
conditions___________________________________________________

Snowmelt Runoff
1. In what type of climates does snowmelt runoff play a significant role in streamflow? _in hot
conditions________
2. What percentage of freshwater in the western states comes from snowmelt runoff? _75%_____
Springs
1. What are springs a result of? _ water resource formed when the side of a hill
Streamflow
1. How does USGS define streamflow? _ to refer to the amount of water flowing in a river.
2. What is a stream? _a small, narrow river.
____________________________________________________________
3. Why do rivers exist? _water will fall in the rivers for
precepitation__________________________________________________________
4. Where does water generally seek to flow? _in the ocean________________________
5. What percentage of freshwater is found in rivers? _0.3%_______________________
Sublimation
1. What is sublimation? _the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or
authority of another person__________________________________________________________
________________________________________________
2. What is sublimation, in relation to the water cycle? _ sublimation is most often used to describe

the process of snow and ice changing into water vapor in the air without first melting into
water.
3. When does sublimation occur? _where water vapor changes directly into ice
4. Where on Earth does sublimation happen a lot? _ at temperatures and pressures below a
substance's triple point in its phase diagram.
5. What is a Chinook Wind and where do they occur? _ Chinook winds are westerlies from the
Pacific

Surface Runoff
What is surface runoff? _is water from rain, snowmelt, or other resources. ___________________
____________________________________________________________________________
1. When does runoff occur? _might occur because of soil is saturated to full capacity___________

Place the letter from the diagram above in the space provided next to its associated term in
the lists below:
[ C] Condensation
[ K] Evapotranspiration
[ E] Groundwater discharge
[ D] Infiltration
[ C] Snowmelt runoff to streams
[ N] Streamflow
[ Q] Surface runoff
[ A] Water storage in ice and snow
[M] Desublimation [ R ] Plant uptake

[ K] Evaporation
[ C] Freshwater storage
[ F] Groundwater storage
[ B] Precipitation
[ O] Spring
[ L] Sublimation
[ J] Water storage in the atmosphere
[ G] Water storage in oceans