The Water Cycle - Descriptive Essay Example
The Earth is composed of 71% water in different states: solid, liquid or gas. It circulates in the atmosphere keeping a delicate balance of temperature and sustaining life on the planet. The process of the cycle of water from the oceans to the mountains and back to the oceans again is caused by solar radiation and is known as the water or hydrological cycle. The process is made up of a few processes that work together; evaporation, condensation, precipitation, evaporate-transpiration, infiltration and run off.
When water evaporates form the oceans and seas, it condenses into small particles that form clouds through a process known as convection. These clouds can be made of ice or of water droplets, and when the clouds get saturated they come down as rain.If the weather is cold enough they fall as ice or snow in a process known as precipitation. Through canopy interception, water that falls on plants goes back into the atmosphere as evaporation and some evaporates into the atmosphere through evaporate-transpiration.
The water that falls as snow, hail and sleet accumulates and is stored as reserves, but some of it may turn into water vapor immediately due to sublimation. When ice or snow is warmed up by the sun’s rays, it melts and forms runoff water that flows into rivers and lakes as surface run off and some percolates into the ground through infiltration. Some of the water that seeps into the ground runs into lakes as fresh water, and some of it replenishes aquifers and Vadose zones as subsurface flow and some seeps into the oceans and the process is repeated.
Through this delicate balance of water content in the atmosphere, the Earth is able to sustain life.