Water is a critical element that sustains life and drives a variety of environmental processes acting within the Earth system. Though the hydrosphere includes all the water in the earth system, water flows between all the other subsystems of the Earth. In this chapter we'll explore how water is cycled through and its impact on the Earth system.
By the end of the chapter you should be able to:
- List the major "stores" of water in the Earth system.
- Construct a simple diagram of the hydrologic cycle and describe each of the element.
- Describe the nature of subsurface water.
- Describe the nature of surface water.
- Draw and label a diagram that illustrates the conditions that create aquifers and springs.
- Draw and label the elements of a stream hydrograph.
- Construct a diagram of, and calculate a soil water budget
- 10.2: The Hydrologic Cycle
- The hydrologic cycle, or water cycle, is the cycling of water through the earth system. Not only is the hydrologic cycle a cycle of water, it is a cycle of energy as well. Over the next several pages we'll trace water as it passes through the earth system and the energy that accompanies it.