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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? _we hold a lot of
the water unlike most planets________________________
2. How does water the water amount from millions of years ago compare to todays
water amount? ____
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3.Out of all the water on Earth, what percentage is usable by humans?
___0.49%______________________
4. Of the water usable by humans, where is the largest percentage of that water found?
__in oceans_____________________________
5.Complete the following diagram:
3.0%
2.5%
30.1%

0.26%

1.2%

2.6%
3.8%

96.5%
68.7%

69.0%

6. Of the freshwater, where is most of the water tied up? __Glaciers and
icecaps___________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
7. Of the remaining freshwater, where is the largest majority of that water found?
_groundwater__________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
8. What
percentage
of
freshwater
is
found
as
surface
water?
____20.9%_______________________________
9. Compare the amount of freshwater to the amount of saltwater in cubic kilometers:
_______________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

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? _____rivers, lakes, ice caps,
_______________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
3. Where does most of the water people and other life on Earth come from?
_______________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
4. Compare the amount of groundwater to surface water: _what happens Is the we
use groundwater to keep rivers and lakes full. We use surface water as more for
drinking water.
5. What
term
is
used
for
the
storage
place
of
groundwater?
__Aquifer__________________________________
6. How
is
groundwater
recharged?
________________________________________________________
7. How
does
groundwater
recharge
rivers?
_it
keeps
them
full
________________________________________________
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? __79.3 billion
gallons____________________________

The Water Cycle


What is another term used for the water cycle? __hydrologic
cycle____________________________________
Atmosphere
1. Which two processes changes liquid water into vapor which then rises into the atmosphere?
___condesensation_______________________________________________________________
__________
2. Which process produces the majority of the vapor in the atmosphere? ____water
vapor________________
3. What
percentage
of
vapor
does
transpiration
add
to
the
atmosphere?
__10%__________________
4. If all the water in the atmosphere rained down and covered the Earth, how deep would it be?
____2.5
centimeters
about
1
in
________________________________________________________________________
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? ____it is responsible for the

formation of clouds_________________________
3. Besides
clouds,
what
else
can
______precipitation_____________________

happen

due

to

condensation?

Evaporation
1. Define
evaporation:
_water
changes
from
a
liquid
to
a
gas
or
vapor__________________________________________________________________________
2. Where does most of the evaporated water come from? _seas, lakes and rivers with the rest coming
from plant transpiration_______________________________
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?
__90%_______________________________________________________________
5. How long does an evaporated water molecule stay in the air? _as long as they stay small they
stay suspended in the air_________________________

Evapotranspiration
1. According to this website, define evapotranspiration: (beneath the diagram) _water is
transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces
and by transpiration from plants______________
2. Define transpiration: _where plants absorb water through their roots and then give off water
vapor through pores in their leaves _________
3. How much water in the atmosphere is due to transpiration: 10%_______?
4. How does a plant transpire? just as you release water vapor when you breathe plants do, too
5. How much can an oak tree transpire during one day? _40,000 gallons_________________
Freshwater Storage
1. What bodies of water does surface water include: large rivers to small creeks, ponds, lakes,
reservoirs and canals_________________________?
2. What processes are included in inflows to surface water? precipitation, overland runoff,
groundwater seepage, and tributary. __________________________
3. What processes are included in outflows of surface water? _evaporation, movement of water into
groundwater and withdrawls by people. ___________________________
Groundwater Discharge
1. Describe why groundwater is an important part of the water cycle: _we use it for drinking water
and irrigation without it we dont have ______________________
____________________________________________________________________________
2. Where is the majority of groundwater found? between rocks and subsurface material
3. When are aquifers formed? _is occupies spaces between soil and rock particles at which a certain
depth below the land surface. The spaces between soil and rock can be filled with water resulting in
an aquifer from which groundwater can be pumped and used by people.
4. Explain how water becomes part of the groundwater: rain falls onto the land and infiltrates into
the ground to become groundwater.
5. What
percentage
of
freshwater
is
groundwater?
_30.1%___________________________________
Groundwater Storage
1. Where
does
most
of
the
water
in
groundwater
come
from?
Precipitation____________________________
2. Describe the difference between the saturated zone and the unsaturated zone : _the upper layer
of the soil is the unsaturated zone where water is present in varying amounts that change over time
but doesnt saturate. Below this layer is the saturated zone where all of the pores, cracks and
spaces between rock particles are saturated with water____________
3. What is the water table? _the level below which the ground is saturated with water.
4. To what level would you have to dig to find water? it depends on the level of permeability of the
soil and/or dirt that you are trying to dig a hole in.

4. Label the diagram below:


Precipitation

Recharge

Soil zone
water table

soil zone

Saturated zone

Ice, Snow, and Glaciers


1. What is meat by storage, in relation to the water cycle? water that is locked up in its present
state for a relatively long period of time
2. Where
is
the
90%
of
Earths
ice
mass
found?
_in
Antartica_______________________________________
3. Where
is
the
rest
of
it
found?
_in
Greenland___________________________________________________
4. What
majority
of
freshwater
is
held
in
ice
caps
and
glaciers?
_68.7%__________________________
Infiltration
1. What is happening to water during infiltration? _water that falls as rain and snow 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? it recharges groundwater
aquifers___________________________________
4. What is the greatest factor affecting infiltration? is the amount and characteristics of precipitation
that falls as rain or snow.
5. What happens to rain, once the soil is saturated? _rainfall will become more surface
runoff__________________________________
Oceans
1. What
percentage
of
water
is
found
in
the
ocean?
__97%__________________________________
2. What
percentage
of
evaporated
water
comes
from
the
ocean?
_90%________________________

Precipitation
1. What forms of water can precipitation take? _rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, or hail.
________________________________________
2. How does most precipitation fall? _as rain__
3. What has to happen before water can fall as precipitation? _the clouds form water vapor and
they form visible clouds____________________________
4. How
do
water
droplets
grow?
___condensation_________________________________________________

5. Draw how raindrops actually look up to 3 mm:

Snowmelt Runoff
1. In what type of climates does snowmelt runoff play a significant role in streamflow? _warmer
climates________
2. What percentage of freshwater in the western states comes from snowmelt runoff?
_75%________
Springs
1. What are springs a result of? _an aquifer being filled to the point that the water overflows the
land surface. _______________
Streamflow
1. How does USGS define streamflow? _they use the word streamflow to refer to the amount of
water flowing in a river_____________________________________________
2. What
is
a
stream?
_a
flowing
body
of
water____________________________________________________________
3. Why do rivers exist? _ water generally seeks to flow to the oceans, which are at sea level. So,
no matter where on Earth water is, it tries to flow downhill. With the Earth being a very unlevel
place, water ends up occupying the valleys and depressions in the landscape as rivers and
lakes
4. Where
does
water
generally
seek
to
flow?
_the
center
of
the
earth_________________________________________
5. What
percentage
of
freshwater
is
found
in
rivers?
_0.3%___________________________________
Sublimation
1. What is sublimation? _is the conversion between solid and the gaseous phases of matter with no
intermediate liquid stage__________________________________________________________
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? When certain weather conditions are present.
4. Where on Earth does sublimation happen a lot? It does usually happen at higher altitudes
5. What is a Chinook Wind and where do they occur? _they are winds that vaporizes snow before
it
has
the
chance
to
melt
and
it
happens
in
the
Western
US_________________________________

Surface Runoff
1. What is surface runoff? _is water from rain, snowmelt that flows over the land surface_____
2. When does runoff occur? __during storms

Place the letter from the diagram above in the space provided next to its associated term in
the lists below:
[ I] 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

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