The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle

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  • Evaporation:  The process where a liquid turns into a gas, and goes into the air. In this case,where ocean water (or any other water on the surface of the Earth) evaporates into a gas, and goes up into the atmosphere. This starts the water cycle.
  • Condensation:  Where the water vapor gas turns back into liquid water. After the ocean water evaporates, it turns into clouds. This is the second step in the water cycle.
  • Precipitation:  This is when clouds cannot hold their water anymore, so they release it as rain (or rain in another form such as snow, hail, etc.), which falls back onto the surface of the earth. This is the third step of the water cycle.
  • Runoff:  Runoff is where the water that is released from clouds flows from high to low elevations on Earth. The water runs across land, and either infiltrates into the ground, or goes into surface water. 
  • Infiltration:  This is where the water moves down into the earth, and travels beneath the Earth's surface.
  • Then it repeats all over again!
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