The Global Water Cycle. Main Processes involved in the Water Cycle. Condensation: process in which water molecules in the atmosphere change from a gas phase to a liquid phase Precipitation: process in which water falls on earth’s surface in the form of rain, snow, hail, and sleet
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Reservoir Volume (106 km3) Percent of Total Residence Time
Oceans 1350 97.3 103 — 104 yr
Glaciers 29 2.1 101 — 103 yr
Aquifers 8 0.6 2 wks — 104 yr
Lakes 0.1 0.01 10 yr
Soil Moisture 0.1 0.01 52 days
Atmosphere 0.013 (~0.3 cm rainfall) 0.001 10 days
Rivers 0.002 0.0002 2 wks
Biosphere 0.001 0.0001 6 days
Based on Graedel, T. E., and P. J. Crutzen, 1993: Atmospheric Change. An Earth System Perspective. W. H. Freeman and Company. 446 pp.