Hydrologic Cycle

5 steps in the hydrological cycle
  1. Water EVAPORATES as the earth is warmed by the energy of the sun and travels into the air, becoming part of a cloud. Water turns from liquid to gas, also known as water vapor.
  2. TRANSPIRATION is the ability of living things to exhale, or breathe, water vapor back into the air. Plants and trees can help put water back into the environment through transpiration. This water also travels into the air, becoming part of a cloud.
  3. CONDENSATION is the formation of clouds holding moisture. When the clouds become heavy with moisture, the water falls back down to the earth as rain. In cold temperatures, it could fall back down to earth as snow or hail. Rain, snow, sleet and hail are also known as PRECIPITATION. Precipitation helps to replenish sources like rivers and lakes with water.
  4. Precipitation – or rain- that falls down to earth may PERCOLATE and move downward into the earth through opening in the ground. This helps put water back into the underground water sources like springs and the Floridan Aquifer.
  5. Water that does not percolate into the ground is considered RUNOFF. Runoff travels along the surface of the ground and helps to refill the lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks.