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Chapter 13. Water and Erosion. Section 13.1 Water cycle – continuous movement of water from the atmosphere to the earth’s surface and back to atmosphere Also called hydrologic cycle. Steps involved in water cycle: Evaporation – liquid water changes to vapor

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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Water and Erosion


Section 13.1

  • Water cycle – continuous movement of water from the atmosphere to the earth’s surface and back to atmosphere

  • Also called hydrologic cycle


  • Steps involved in water cycle:

    • Evaporation – liquid water changes to vapor

    • Transpiration – plants giving off water vapor

    • Evaopotranspiration – evaporation and transpiration combined

    • Condensation – water vapor rising into atmosphere

    • Precipitation – water falls from clouds to earth as rain, sleet, snow, hail


Water cycle i mportant to ecosystem balance
Water Cycle - Important to Ecosystem Balance



Section 13.2 river systems water budget

  • River system is made up of a main stream and feeder streams, called tributaries

  • Land from which water runs off into these streams is called a watershed

  • In Virginia there are 13 watersheds – these watersheds drain to the Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina Sounds and Gulf of Mexico


  • Streams transport soil, loose rock fragments, and dissolved minerals – stream load

  • 3 forms of stream load

    • Solution – material that is removed from bedrock

    • Suspension – suspended material such as sand, silt, clay – looks muddy

    • Bed load – sediment moving along stream bed or base – pebbles/boulders




  • Mature streams affects how a stream cuts and widens its channel

    • Well-established tributaries

    • Drains watershed effectively

    • Erosion occurs along the valley walls

    • Not many waterfalls and rapids

    • Meanders and oxbow lakes – water in abandoned meander

    • Old Rivers

    • Lower gradient, slower than mature river

    • Deposits sediments on land instead of eroding, flood plain formed


Stream erosion affects how a stream cuts and widens its channel

  • Potholes – created by sand, pebbles and small boulders swirling around in whirl pools, erodes out rock and makes hole

  • Waterfalls – created when rock is undermined by stream current


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