The Hydrological Cycle

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The Hydrological Cycle

Within the hydrological cycle, four main processes operate:

  • Interception
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Infiltration
  • Precipitation

Water flows through the hydrological cycle in various ways:

  • Throughflow: where water moves downwards through layers of soil.
  • Channel flow: downhill movement of water in rivers.
  • Groundwater flow: Lateral movement of water from the water table.

Potential Evapotranspiration:

The amount of water that could be lost by evapotranspiration. For example, this is potentially high in deserts, but the amount that can take place is limited due to the minimal moisture available. Actual evapotranspiration is what actually occurs. In the UK there is more water available for evapotranspiration than takes place.

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