Elements of the water cycle
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Elements of the water cycle. Important terms : Condensation, Evaporation, Transpiration, Groundwater, Precipitation, Surface Runoff, Water Table. Evaporation.

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Elements of the water cycle

Elements of the water cycle

Important terms: Condensation, Evaporation, Transpiration, Groundwater, Precipitation, Surface Runoff, Water Table

Elements of the water cycle


Evaporation is the process by which water is converted from its liquid form to its vapor form. In water vapor form, it moves into the atmosphere (air).

Evaporation from the oceans accounts for 80% of the water delivered as precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, or hail).

Elements of the water cycle


Condensation is the change of water from its gaseous form (water vapor) into liquid water. Condensation generally occurs in the atmosphere when warm air rises, cools and loses its capacity to hold water vapor. As a result, excess water vapor condenses to form cloud droplets.

Elements of the water cycle


When cloud particles become too heavy to remain suspended in the air, they fall to the earth as precipitation.

Precipitation occurs in a variety of forms; hail, rain, freezing rain, sleet or snow.

Elements of the water cycle


Transpiration is the process by which moisture is carried through plants from roots to small pores on the underside of leaves, where it changes to vapor and is released to the atmosphere. Transpiration is essentially evaporation of water from plant leaves.

Elements of the water cycle

Water Table

The saturated zone: The rock and soil in which all the open spaces are filled with water is called the saturated (or saturation) zone. As the top of the saturated zone rises toward the surface, it reaches a level of equilibrium with the overlying unsaturated zone.

The unsaturated zone: The unsaturated zone (or zone of aeration) is the rock and sediment in which pore spaces contain mostly air and some water and therefore are not saturated. The unsaturated zone typically starts at the surface and extends downward to the saturated zone. The contact between the saturated and unsaturated zones is called the water table.

Elements of the water cycle

Surface Runoff

Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle.

Elements of the water cycle


Groundwater is water that exists in the pore spaces and fractures in rock and sediment beneath the Earth's surface. It originates as rainfall or snow, and then moves through the soil into the groundwater system, where it eventually makes its way back to surface streams, lakes, or oceans.

What causes erosion

What happens from erosion? Deposition happens from erosion. This is when land is eroded (taken away) from one area, and dropped off (deposited) in another.


  • How does it erode?

    • Pulls rocks down slopes

  • How does it deposit?

    • Materials pile up at lower elevations

What causes erosion?


  • How does it erode?

    • Carries loose rocks through air- scrapes at other rocks

    • FAST= carries more

  • How does it deposit?

    • When it slows down, dumps off rocks to form dunes/piles

Running Water

  • How does it erode?

    • Drags rocks along in water

    • Bumping of rocks widens and deepens waterways

    • FASTER= carries more

  • How does it deposit?

    • Where water slows down, rocks are dumped off

    • Form deltas/fans or plains

Elements of the water cycle

5 Easy Water Saving Tips

Wash laundry & dishes with full loads

Always turn off running water

Take shorter showers

Eliminate any and all leaks

Reduce the flow of toilets & showerheads

Elements of the water cycle

What are two places we get water from in our daily lives?

Typically, in the country, or rural areas, people get their water from drinking wells.

In the city, people tend to get their water from pipes that come into the house. The pipes are underground, and are connected to a water cleaning facility.

Elements of the water cycle

4Major Components of soil

  • Mineral matter

  • The mineral matter represents small rock fragments of the soil. It forms the bulk of about 45% of total volume of the soil. It consists of gravel, stones, sand, silt and clay.

    Organic matter

  • The organic matter represents the remains of the decomposition of plants and animals. It is about 5% of the total volume of the soil. Leaves, roots of plants, the residue of crops, animal dung etc when they are deposited on the soil decay to form a dark color on the upper part of soil to form organic matter also called humus.


  • About half of the total mass of soil is made of up vast, interconnecting cavities, or holes. These holes are filled with both air and water. The amount of air and the amount of water filling these spaces varies dramatically throughout the year and from location to location, but averages about 50% each.


  • Water content is one of the most variable characteristics of soil. The soil acts as a reservoir for water, making it available for plants as it is needed. Soil water is very important to the entire soil system, not only because it is necessary for plant growth, but because the nutrients required for plant growth are also present in the soil solution.

Elements of the water cycle

What is the purpose of a dam?

Engineers design and build damsto keep fast-moving and dangerous flood waters away from people’s homes and roads.

If dams did not exist…

Some cities would be under water!

Elements of the water cycle

Why do people plant on sloping land?

People plant on slopes to take advantage of the runoff water. The runoff from snow, rainfall, and other forms of precipitation gives plants and trees on slopes an advantage.