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Water Cycle Vocabulary


Evaporation- The process by which water molecules in liquid water escape into the air as water vapor.  This happens after the sun heats up the water.

Condensation- Process by which molecules of water vapor in the air become liquid water.

Cloud Formation- When warm, moist air rises and cools, condensing water vapor forms billions of little crystals on particles in the air that come together to form clouds.

Precipitation- Any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches Earth's surface

Infiltration- The downward movement of water through soil

Transpiration- Plants use water in the soil then release in into the air through their leaves

Surface Runoff- When the ground cannot hold anymore water, the excess flows downhill over the land

Groundwater- Precipitation that seeps into the soil and fills up the spaces between rock, soil and sand

Absorption- The removal of water from the soil by roots.

Water Cycle- The continuous movement of water among Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land surface.  It NEVER stops!

Water Shed- The land area drained by a river. One watershed is divided or separated from another by a ridge or a rise in the land. Streams and rivers that join another river become a larger watershed.

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