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Aquatics. By: Taylor Edwards. The Hydrologic Cycle. Evaporation- liquid to gas Sublimation- solid to gas Evapotranspiration- water evaporates from plants or soil Condensation- water in the form of gas transforms into liquid Precipitation- rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet, or hail

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By: Taylor Edwards

The hydrologic cycle
The Hydrologic Cycle

Evaporation- liquid to gas

Sublimation- solid to gas

Evapotranspiration- water evaporates from plants or soil

Condensation- water in the form of gas transforms into liquid

Precipitation- rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet, or hail

Water continues moving in the form of runoff


-surface: water moving over the landscape

Hydrologic cycle water storage
Hydrologic Cycle: Water Storage

  • Freshwater

    -receive inflow/water through: precipitation, overland runoff, ground-water seepage, tributaries

    -outflow through: evaporation, discharge to ground water

    -contributes to regulation of salinity of ocean

    -freshwater = 3% of all water on Earth

  • Icecaps/glaciers

  • Ocean

  • Groundwater

    -unsaturated zone: spaces in between soil particles are filled with water and air

    -saturated zone: spaces in between soil particles are filled completely by water


What is a watershed?

Land that water flows across/through on its way to common stream, river, or lake

Functions of an effective watershed program:

  • Maintain natural water storage

  • Prevent production of water pollutants

  • Regulate movement of pollutants

  • Minimizes amount of pollutants that enter water bodies

  • Support ecosystem

Features of a watershed
Features of a Watershed


Geographic boundary


Soil type

Tributaries Forests

Dams Wetlands

Lakes/ponds Mountains


Structure of a watershed physical
Structure of a Watershed: Physical

  • Climatology: climate and its causes

  • Geology: earth structures, processes, compositions, characteristics, and histories

    -Fluvial geomorphology: structure and

    dynamics of stream/river corridors

  • Hydrology- water in hydrologic cycle; water’s forms, distribution, circulation, and behavior; chemical/physical properties

Structure of a watershed ecological
Structure of a Watershed: Ecological

Words to know:


  • Species

  • Population- organisms of same species living in specific area

  • Community- group of plant/animal populations living in specific area

  • Habitat- area where a certain plant or animal is capable of living and growing

  • Niche- an organism’s job in its ecosystem

  • Ecosystem- natural unit containing abiotic and biotic factors

  • Ecotone- ecosystem that forms a transition between two ecosystems

  • Biosphere- ranging from the atmosphere down into the Earth’s crust, area in which all known life forms exist

Structure of a watershed ecological1
Structure of a Watershed: Ecological


  • Life history strategies: processes involved in organisms reaching fitness

  • Carrying capacity: (K) the total number of organisms an environment can support, level at which growth of a species will stop

  • Competition: two or more species that struggle for a resource

  • Symbiosis:



    -amensalism: one organism is negatively effected while the other is not helped or harmed


Structure of a watershed biodiversity
Structure of a Watershed: Biodiversity

Four types:

  • Genetic

  • Population

  • Species

  • Habitat/ecological

Types of lakes
Types of Lakes

  • Glaciallakes- carved by the movement and weight of a glacier

  • Tectonic basins- formed by movement of Earth’s crust/ tectonic plates

  • Volcanic lakes- craters form basins, lava dams form basins in valleys

  • Landslides- rockfalls and mudslides form dams in streams/rivers

  • Solution lakes- gathering of water erodes areas of limestone, and forms cavities

  • Plunge pools- ancient waterfalls form deep pools

  • Oxbow lakes- former channel becomes separated from rest of river

  • Beaver-made- form dams in rivers/streams

  • Human-made

Structure of a watershed
Structure of a Watershed

Types of water systems:

  • Lotic Systems: flowing





  • Lentic Systems: still

Stream classification stream order
Stream Classification: Stream Order

Why is stream order important?

-size and strength of waterways

-water management

-determining organisms/life found in waterways

12 orders: 1 being the smallest, 12 the largest

  • 1st-3rd = headwater streams (feed into other waterways, generally do not have waterways flowing into them)

  • 4th-6th= medium streams

  • 7th-12th = rivers

Stream classification stream order1
Stream Classification: Stream Order

When two waterways of the same order meet and combine, they form a waterway of the next order in the hierarchy.

1st order stream + 1st order stream =

2nd order stream

2nd order stream + 2nd order stream =

3rd order stream




When two waterways of a different order meet, they do not increase in order. The waterway of smaller order simply ends and feeds into the bigger waterway.

Stream classification flow types
Stream Classification: Flow Types

  • Perennial- nearly year-round (90% or more)

    -higher order waterways

  • Intermittent- only during wet season (50% or less)

  • Ephemeral- during/shortly after large amounts of precipitation/snowmelt

    -lower order waterways (1st-2nd)

Landscape patterns
Landscape Patterns

  • Matrix

  • Patch

  • Mosaic


  • Groundwater moves through aquifers, which are areas of permeable rock

  • Largest supply of freshwater available to humans


    Layer of gravel, sand, limestone, sandstone

    Fractured rocks

How does water become groundwater
How does water become groundwater?

precipitation is infiltrated into the ground

Enters saturated zone

-replaces water that has evaporated/used by plants

(amount of water here will fluctuate with precipitation)

Water then flows to water table/saturated zone when plants/soil have necessary water

(spaces in rock/soil are completely filled with water)

Factors affecting quality of aquifers
Factors Affecting Quality of Aquifers

  • Porosity

  • “well-sorted” vs. “poorly sorted” grains/particles

  • Size of air pores

  • Connection of pores

  • Joints/Cracks/Fractures

    (Generally, the deeper the rock material is, the less porous/permeable it is)

    How does water leave an aquifer?


    -Seeping into streams

    -Pumped out by wells

Refilling of aquifers
Refilling of Aquifers

  • Naturally

    -through infiltration of precipitation

    -depends on depth of aquifer and rate of precipitation

  • Artificially

  • through recharge wells that pump water into the aquifer (more expensive, but more effective)

  • through spreading water over land surface/forming dams in streams

Two types of aquifers
Two Types of Aquifers

(all aquifers have a layer of impermeable rock below them)

  • Confined

    -an aquifer that is under a layer of impermeable rock

  • Unconfined

    -an aquifer that is not located under a layer of impermeable rock

    -can recharge nearby streams


Springs form when an aquifer becomes so full of water that the excess water spills over onto the land surface.

Classified according to:

-amount of water they discharged

-temperature of the water

-formation that they receive their water from

-forces that cause the spring

Groundwater quality
Groundwater Quality


Most common dissolved mineral substances:

  • Sodium

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Potassium

  • Chloride

  • Bicarbonate

  • Sulfate

    -some materials can be beneficial/harmless, but other materials/large concentrations are harmful

not desirable for drinking is dissolved mineral amount is more than-

1,000 mg/L

Groundwater quality1
Groundwater Quality

  • “hardness” of water: determined by the amounts of calcium carbonate (minerals formed if water is evaporated) it contains

  • Iron found in water, particularly where water is acidic

    Causes of Declining Groundwater Quality:

    -municipal/industrial wastes

    -chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides

    -sewer leakage

    -faulty septic-tank operation

    -landfill leachates -intrusion of salt water

Uses of water
Uses of Water

  • Thermoelectric- mostly used for cooling at power plants

  • Hydroelectric- energy of falling water captured to make electricity

  • Irrigation- (largest use of fresh water in the United States) growing crops, frost protection, chemical applications, weed control, landscaping (golf courses, parks)

  • Public Supply- domestic, commercial, industrial, thermoelectric, public use

  • Industrial

  • Recreation

  • Other- self-supplied domestic, livestock, aquaculture, mining activities

Water conservation
Water Conservation

  • Ensure that all sinks, faucets, showers, toilets, etc. do not have leaks

  • Install water-saving appliances/fixtures

  • Turn off/save water whenever you can, ex: brushing teeth, washing dishes, showering

  • Avoid buying bottled water

  • Grow local plants that do not require large amounts of water

  • Water plants during cool parts of day to avoid evaporation

  • Collect water from gutters with barrel/container

  • Reuse greywater

Stream monitoring biological
Stream Monitoring: Biological

-observing macroinvertibrates to draw conclusions on quality/status of water and habitat

Why can these organisms help us determine stream quality?


- Are affected by physical, chemical, & biological conditions

-can’t escape pollution

-show effects of pollution

-can live from 1 to several years

-represent different trophic levels of food web

-are found in most streams

-are a food source

-are easy to collect, identify

Stream monitoring chemical
Stream Monitoring: Chemical

specific characteristics at a specific time (More specific! )


  • Temperature- help determine what organisms can live in the water

  • Dissolved oxygen (DO)-

    -necessary to life in the water

    -cool water holds more DO

    -ppm = parts per million (1 ppm = one milligram of oxygen per liter of water)

    -5 to 6 ppm for growth/activity

  • pH

    -amount of hydrogen ions in water, 6.0 to 8.2 best for most organisms

  • Water clarity

  • Ammonia

  • Hardness

  • Phosphorus

  • Nitrogen

  • Chlorine

  • Alkalinity


Functions of a wetland:

  • surface/subsurface water storage

  • Nutrient cycling

  • Particulate removal

  • Maintenance of plant/animal communities

  • Water filtration/purification

  • Groundwater recharge


Wetland Values: characteristics of wetlands that are beneficial to people

  • Reduced flood damage

  • Water quality improvement

  • Fish/wildlife habitat enhancement

Types of wetlands
Types of Wetlands

Differentiating characteristics of wetlands:

  • Soils

  • Landscape

  • Climate

  • Water regime and chemistry

  • Vegetation

  • Human disturbance

Types of wetlands1
Types of Wetlands

  • MARSHES saturated, flooded, or ponded w/ water periodically

  • tidal

    -located along coastlines

    -salt and freshwater

    -influenced by tides, runoff, rivers, groundwater

  • non-tidal

    -found in poorly-drained depressions, floodplains, and around edges of lakes/rivers

Types of wetlands2
Types of Wetlands

2) Swamps surface water inputs, trees and shrubs

  • Forested Swamps

    -obtain floodwater from nearby streams/rivers

    -common deciduous trees

  • Shrub Swamps

    -like forested, but are dominated by shrubs

  • Mangrove Swamps


    -salt-tolerant trees, shrubs, and plants

    3) Other

  • Bogs

  • Fens

Negative impacts on wetlands
Negative Impacts on Wetlands

  • Hydrologic Alterations



    -dredging/stream channelization

    -increase in impervious surfaces

  • Pollution Inputs


    -air pollution

    -leaking from landfills/dumps

  • Vegetation Damage

    -domestic animals grazing

    -non-native plants



  • CWA = Clean Water Act

  • CZMA = Coastal Zone Management Act

  • ECA = Endangered Species Act

  • CAA = Clean Air Act

  • NEPA = National Environmental Policy Act

  • Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act

  • SDWA = Safe Drinking Water Act


  • CMPA = Coastal Marshlands Protection Act

  • SPA = Shore Protection Act

  • GWSA = Georgia Water Stewardship Act


Name 4 important features of a watershed. ecosystems is an ___________.


Define amensalism. ecosystems is an ___________.


How is a plunge pool formed? ecosystems is an ___________.


How many stream orders are there? system is made up of still water.


A 4 system is made up of still order waterway would be considered a _________.

  • headwater stream

  • river

  • medium stream


2 system is made up of still water.



What is the order of the waterway represented by the black line?


True or False- table/saturated zone?

Generally, the closer the rock is to the surface, the less permeable and porous it will be.


What is 1 reason macroinvertebrates are helpful in determining the health of a stream?


Water is not considered suitable for drinking if the dissolved mineral amount is over ________.

Sources dissolved mineral amount is over ________.

Georgia Envirothon Water Study Materials