Hello! My name is Mr. Water Droplet and I would like to welcome you to the Water Cycle Tour. Today I'm going to show you the stages starting with precipitation.
Precipitation is when water droplets, in the clouds, become too big and fall to earth. Water droplets are released from clouds in forms like rain, sleet, snow, and hail.
The next stage we will be looking at is runoff. Runoff is when water begins to flow downhill right after rain hits the ground and then flows into a large body of water, like an ocean or river, which is called collection.
Another way water is collected is through infiltration/percolation. Infiltration/percolation is when water on the surface of the ground enters into the soil and rocks. Some water that infiltrates the soil and rock moves back into a larger body of water, such as a stream, or infiltrates deeper into aquifers.
Did I hear you say, "What is an aquifer?" An aquifer is a huge storage of earth's water beneath the surface called groundwater. Even though the groundwater is below the ground, it is still moving very slowly and is still a part of the water cycle.
So water falls to the earth's surface, it runs off into another body of water or infiltrates the ground and then it goes back up into the atmosphere to form clouds through evaporation. Evaporation is the primary pathway where water moves from a liquid back into water vapor.