Fresh Water

Term Definition
Erosion The process by which wind, water, ice, or gravity transports soil and sediment from one location to another.
Water cycle The continuous movement of water from the ocean to the atmosphere to the land and back to the ocean.
Evaporation When water from the oceans and the Earth's surface changes into water vapor. Energy from the sun causes evaporation. Water gains energy during evaporation.
Condensation When water vapor cools and turns into water droplets that form clouds in the atmosphere. Water loses energy during condensation.
Precipitation It is rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls from clouds onto the Earth's land and oceans.
Runoff It is precipitation that flows over land into streams and rivers. This water layer enters oceans.
Tributary A stream that flows into a lake or larger stream.
Water shed The area of land that is drained by a water system.
Divide The Boundary between drainage areas that have streams that flow in opposite directions.
Channel The path that a stream follows.
Deposition The process in which material is laid down
Bed load The large materials a stream can bounce such as pebbles and boulders, along the stream bed.
Suspended load Small rocks and soil that a stream carries in suspension this makes the water look muddy
Dissolved load Material carried in solution, which means that the material is dissolved in the water. Sodium and calcium are some of the materials in the dissolved load.
Water table The upper surface of under ground water ( the upper boundary of the zone of saturation )
Aquifer A body of rock or sediment that stores groundwater and allows the flow of groundwater
Porosity The percentage of the total volume of a rock or sediment that consists of open spaces
Permeability The ability of a rock or sediment to let liquids pass through its open spaces, or pores
Artesian spring A spring whose water from a crack in the cap rock over the aquifer
Transpiration The process where plants absorb water through roots and then give off water vapor through pores in their leaves
Percolation The process of a liquid a liquid slowly passing through a filter
Groundwater Water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock
Impermability When rock or soil does not allow liquids to pass through it
Well A deep hole or shaft dug into the earth to obtain water, oil, gas, etc
Zone of aeration The region between the Earth's surface and the water table
Zone of saturation The area in an aquifer below the water table, in which relatively all pores and fractures are saturated with water

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