What is the Water Cycle?

water cycle
writer Ekolojist

The water on Earth is always in motion, and the natural water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle, is the constant movement of water above and below the Earth's surface. In the blink of an eye and over millions of years, these processes constantly change state between liquid, vapor and ice.

What is the water cycle? To put the question in simpler language; After the water condenses in the upper layers of the atmosphere, it reaches the earth as precipitation. Then, with the effect of the sun, it returns to the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration. This phenomenon is called the water cycle.

The water cycle is the path that all water takes as it moves around the Earth in different situations. Liquid water is found in oceans, rivers, lakes, and even underground. Solid ice is found on glaciers, snow, and the North and South Poles. Water vapor is found in Earth's atmosphere.

The water cycle is often taught as a simple circular cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. While this is a useful model, the reality is much more complex. The pathways and effects of water in Earth's ecosystems are extremely complex and poorly understood.

Summary of the water cycle

Where does all the world's water come from? The Primordial Earth was an incandescent sphere made of magma, but of course all magmas contain water. The water released by the magma began to cool the Earth's atmosphere when it remained liquid on the surface. Volcanic activity has continued and still continues to seep into the atmosphere, thus increasing the volume of Earth's surface and groundwater.

How Does the Water Cycle Happen?

The water cycle has no starting point. However, one can start from the oceans, because the vast majority of Earth's water is in the oceans. Directing the water cycle, the sun heats the water in the oceans. Some of it evaporates into the air as steam. Ice and snow can turn directly into water vapor. Rising air currents take the vapor into the atmosphere along with water from evapotranspiration, which is water emitted from plants and evaporated from the soil. The vapor rises in the atmosphere until it condenses in clouds in colder weather.

Air currents move clouds around the earth, cloud particles collide, grow and fall from the sky as precipitation. Some of the precipitation falls as snow and can accumulate in the form of glaciers that can store frozen water for thousands of years. Snow masses in warmer climates usually thaw and melt when spring arrives, and the melt water flows onto land as snowmelt.

Most of the precipitation falls into the oceans or on land, where, due to gravity, precipitation flows over the ground as surface runoff. Part of the flow enters the oceans and rivers by streams. Runoff and groundwater seeps are accumulated and stored as fresh water in lakes. Not all currents flow into rivers, however. Most of them enter the soil through leakage. Some of the water seeps deep into the ground and replenishes aquifers (saturated underground rock) that store large volumes of fresh water over long periods of time.

Some seeps stay close to the land surface and may seep back into surface water bodies (and the ocean) as groundwater discharge, and some groundwater finds openings in the land surface and emerges as freshwater springs.

Water is in a natural cycle between the various states in which it stays for different periods of time. This gives the impression that there is too much water. But most of the water is either salty or stored as ice. The spatial distribution of the components of the cycle, namely precipitation and evaporation (including transpiration), demonstrates its strong link with atmospheric conversion and thus climate.

Water is ubiquitous on our planet and within the solar system. In the light of the scientific data we have reached so far, the earth is the only planet we call the water planet. It is one of the basic features of the world that water exists in three states as solid, liquid and water vapor.

what is the water cycle

What is the water cycle? The best answer to the question can be given with the oceans. Most of the water on Earth is in the oceans, which cover 70% of the planet's surface. The oceans are where life began 3,5 billion years ago and continue to be home to many species. Making life on land possible The presence of fresh water is a result of the water cycle.

The salty water in the ocean evaporates and mixes with the atmosphere without salt and returns to the earth through precipitation from the atmosphere. The water that falls on land flows into rivers by being held in landforms such as lakes or in artificial reservoirs, or it fills underground reservoirs or underground water basins where it can be extracted when needed by infiltrating the soil.

The water cycle has many components. These; condensation (precipitation), evaporation from land and soil surface, melting of snow and ice, transpiration of plants, surface runoff, and spillage of groundwater into the oceans and greater evaporation from the oceans.

What Are the Stages of the Water Cycle?

1) Condensation (precipitation) 

Condensation (condensation) is the transition of water vapor in the air to a liquid state. Condensation is the opposite of evaporation and creates precipitation, which is the primary way water can return to earth via clouds.

2) Evaporation

Evaporation is the process of water changing from liquid to gas or vapor. Evaporation is a process in which liquid atoms or molecules acquire sufficient energy from the sun's heat and pass into gaseous state.

3) Melting 

About three-quarters of the freshwater on Earth is found in ice caps and glaciers. Glaciers and snow, which store water in the winter and melt and release it in the spring, affect the volume and timing of streamflow. Glaciers also affect the long-term availability of water.

4) Sweating 

Transpiration is the transmission of water taken from the roots of plants to small pores on the underside of the leaves and then to the atmosphere by turning into steam. Most of the water on earth returns to the atmosphere by transpiration from plants.

5) Surface runoff

Usually, some of the rain falling on the earth is absorbed by the soil, but when the rain falls on the saturated or impermeable layer, it flows in the direction of the slope. Surface-flowing water merges with a stream or other surface pond, from where it eventually discharges into the ocean or re-evaporates into the atmosphere.

6) Discharge of Groundwater into Oceans 

Groundwater is absorbed by the soil depending on the current moisture content and infiltrates underground towards the water layer where it accumulates. Groundwater moves downward and laterally underground and stays in impermeable geological formations. Groundwater eventually gushes out of springs or seeps into springs, lakes and the ocean, where it evaporates again, continuing the cycle.

What is the water cycle? When it is said, not only evaporation, condensation, melting and freezing will come to mind, but other factors will also be taken into consideration.

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