A-Level Geography Water Cycle Terms

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Cryosphere
The ice which exists upon Earth.
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Water Cycle
Representation of the global flow of water from oceans, land and atmosphere.
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Atmosphere
Water stored as gas (vapour) within the air, or is condensed to form clouds.
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Groundwater
H2O located below the Earths surface, stored in the pores of permeable rocks.
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Surface water
Water located above the ground: for example in lakes, streams and oceans
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Drainage basin
The area of land where water and melted ice flows into a lake, sea or river.
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Open system
A cycle or process where inputs and outputs can add or remove material or energy,
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Interception
Water is temporarily stored and delayed from entering channels because it falls on objects such as vegetation.
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Infiltration
The process where water enters the soil from the surface of the ground.
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Saturated overland flow
Water which travels over the land's surface because all the pore spaces (voids) within the soil are already filled with water.
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Throughflow
The movement of water through the soil
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Percolation
The movement of water through the bedrock, towards a stream.
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Evaporation
The process where liquid water is converted into a gas; this water vapour escapes into the atmosphere.
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Transpiration
The flow of water from the soil to the atmosphere via plants.
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Evaporation
The process where liquid water is converted into a gas; this water vapour escapes into the atmosphere.
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Transpiration
The flow of water from the soil to the atmosphere via plants.
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Negative feedback
A cycle that returns a system back to its normal (equilibrium) state
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Positive feedback
A 'runaway' system loop where the system moves further and further from equilibrium
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Dynamic equilibrium
The steady, balanced state of a system
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Input
Addition to a system
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Output
Losses from a system
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Store
A sink where water, for example, is retained for long periods of time e.g. lakes, oceans, underground
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Flow
Movement of water; for example in rivers and streams.
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Atmospheric water
Water found in the atmosphere;mainly water vapour with some liquid water (cloud and rain droplets) and ice crystals
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Cryospheric water
The water locked up on the earths surface as ice
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Hydrosphere
A discontinuous layer of water at or near the Earth's surface. It includes all liquid surface water including rivera, lakes, seas &oceans
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Lithosphere
The rocks and soil which may contain groundwater
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Oceanic Water
The water contained in the Earth's oceans and seas but not including such inland seas as the Caspian Sea
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Terrestrial Water
This consists of groundwater, soil moisture, lakes, wetlands and rivers.
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Cryosphere
Sea ice, ice sheets, ice caps
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Atmosphere
water vapour, water droplets, ice crystals.
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System
A set of interrelated components working together towards some kind of process
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Relative humidity
Amount of water vapour present in a body of air relative to the maximum amount of water vapour it could contain at that temperature. Usually expressed as a percentage.
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Dew point
Temp at which a body of air at a given atmospheric pressure becomes fully saturated. Further cooling results in condensation of excess water vapour.
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Bankfull
Max discharge a river channel is capable of carrying without flooding.
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Base flow
Normal day to day discharge of the river - the consequence of slow moving soil through flow and groundwater seeping into the river channel.
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Discharge
The amount of stare in a river flowing past a particular point (m3/s)
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Falling limb
Part of hydrography that records the decrease in a river's flow
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Lag time
The time between peak rainfall and peak discharge
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Peak discharge
The point on a storm hydrography where the river discharge is at its greatest
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Rising limb
The part of the hydrograph that increases a river's flow
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Storm flow
Discharge resulting from storm precipitation involved in both overland flow, through flow and groundwater flow.
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Storm hydrograph
A graph of discharge of a river over the time period when the normal flow of the river is affected by a storm event.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Representation of the global flow of water from oceans, land and atmosphere.

Back

Water Cycle

Card 3

Front

Water stored as gas (vapour) within the air, or is condensed to form clouds.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

H2O located below the Earths surface, stored in the pores of permeable rocks.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Water located above the ground: for example in lakes, streams and oceans

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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