Water Cycle

The water (hydrologic) cycle describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth

This movement of water involves several different processes, including:

  • Evaporation – Water is converted to vapour by the sun and transferred from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere
  • Transpiration – Water vapour is released by plants and soil into the atmosphere
  • Condensation – Water vapour is transformed into liquid water droplets in the air (creating clouds and fog)
  • Precipitation – Water vapour in the atmosphere condenses into liquid (rain) or solid (snow) and returns to the Earth
  • Infiltration – The flow of water from the ground surface into the soil
  • Runoff – The variety of ways water moves along the ground
  • Subsurface Flow – The flow of water underground (will eventually drain into oceans or return to the surface via springs)

The Water Cycle

Water cycle