Water and Ice


How does the hydrologic cycle work?

The movement of water from the atmosphere to the land, rivers, oceans, and plants and then back into the atmosphere is known as the hydrologic cycle. We can pick an arbitrary point in the cycle to begin our examination. Water in the atmosphere forms clouds or fog and falls (precipitates) to the ground. Water then flows into the ground to nourish plants, or into streams that lead to rivers and then to oceans, or it can flow into the groundwater (underground sources of water). Over time, water sitting in puddles, rivers, and oceans is evaporated into the atmosphere. Water in plants is transpired into the atmosphere. The process of water moving into the atmosphere is collectively known as evapotranspiration.


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