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Most science resources focus on four main steps of the water cycle—evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection—but some resources get more granular.

Here’s a breakdown:

1. Evaporation - Heat from the sun (or another source) comes into contact with water. The heat excites the molecules of water, spreading them out; as a result, the water loses density and evaporates, rising into the air as vapor.

This can happen at any temperature between water’s freezing and boiling point, but it occurs quickest as water approaches its boiling point of around 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). If humidity and air pressure are low, the molecules need less energy to evaporate, since there’s substantially less pressure holding the molecules together in the first place.

Processes similar to but scientifically distinct from evaporation are sublimation (when ice or snow turns directly into water vapor) and transpiration (when plants release water vapor into the air).

As water vapor rises, it carries tiny particles of dust and dirt. This is important for the next stage of the water cycle.

2. Condensation - The water vapor rises and contacts cold air higher in the atmosphere, forming clouds. Gradually, the molecules in the water become less excited and begin to hold on to the particles of dust and dirt. This is called condensation.

Clouds consist of water vapor, droplets, and ice, along with the aforementioned dust and dirt. A typical cumulus cloud holds more than 500 tons of water. Upward movements of air called updrafts keep the water from falling out of the cloud...for a while.

3. Precipitation - As more molecules of water join together, they can become too dense to remain in the air, and eventually, updrafts disappear or weaken to the point where water can escape the cloud. The water falls to the ground as rain (or snow, or ice, depending on the temperature, air pressure, and other factors). This process is called precipitation.

4. Collection - Most water falls onto oceans, lakes, or other bodies of water, restarting the cycle. Some water falls to land, where it travels along the slope of the ground toward creeks, rivers, and streams; this is called runoff, and some consider this an additional step in the cycle.

Some water undergoes a process called infiltration, in which it seeps down into soil and rock.

Inevitably, water collects after falling to the ground, so scientists refer to this stage of the water cycle as collection, regardless of where water falls.

For most purposes, the four steps outlined above provide a sufficient explanation of the water cycle.

If you want to explain the basics to your friends, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection are good places to start. If you really want to impress them, you can talk about sublimation, transpiration, runoff, and infiltration.

But why is the water cycle important? The water cycle provides a steady source of clean, usable water. It’s a natural recycling process, and because all living organisms depend on water to survive, the cycle is critical to life.

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Todd L Ross

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โˆ™ 2019-09-05 21:30:24
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Q: What are the steps in the water cycle?
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Related questions

How many steps are in the water cycle?

There are three steps in the water cycle: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation.

Steps of water cycle?

Steps of water cycleevaporationcondensationprecipitationcollectionThese are the 4 steps involved.

How many steps are there in the water cycle?

There are three steps in the water cycle: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation.

What are the steps in the water cycle and what happends at each step?

What are the steps in the water cycle and what happens at each step

What steps to the water cycle lowest to highest?

The steps of water cycle include:EVaporation of waterCondensationPrecipitationThe water is recycled using this method.

What are the three primary steps of the water cycle?

The three primary steps of the water cycle is evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

What does the water cycle have on the water cycle and why?

the water cycle have 3 main steps but there is really 7 steps. evaporation, condensation, accumulation, ground water, run off, transiration.

What happens during the water cycle?

The steps of the water cycle are: Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation.

What are all steps in the water cycle?

All four steps in water cycle:evaporation , condensation, precipitation and collectionThey form a continuous cycle.

What are the 11 steps in the water cycle?

Frankly there are NOT 11 steps in the water cycle, you could say that for the Global hydrological cycle but not a spicific places water cycle. The 4 stages are Evaporation, Condensation,Preticipation and collection

Steps of the water cycle?

step of the wat

The steps of a water cycle?

there are 7 steps i do not know which your teacher choose

What does the water cycle look like. i mean like the order of the water cycle.?

The water cycle looks like circular process. There are 4 steps involved in water cycle.

What are steps in the water cycle?

there is the condensation, evaporation, and the precipitation

What are the steps to the water cycle?

Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation.

How are evaporation precipitation and transpiration related to the water cycle?

Only evaporation and precipitation are steps in the water cycle.

Which steps in water cycle release water into atmosphere?

Condensation and precipitation involves releasing water into atmosphere. These are the part of water cycle.

Describe the three steps of the water cycle?

The three steps of water cycle are:1.evaporation , 2. condensation, 3.precipitationThey are never-ending processes.

What are the steps in the water cycle that change a liguid or solid to a gas?

The steps in the water cycle that change a liquid or solid to a gas are:evaporation,condensation and precipitationThey causes different states of water.

What would happen if one of the steps of water cycle was left out?

The cycle would not be same

What steps in the water cycle involve a change of state?

it has a difficulty

What are 3 main steps to the water cycle?

precipitation, evaporation, and condensation are the three main steps

What are the steps involved in the water cycle?

The water cycle goes as follows.. First the water is evaporated, then it sits in the clouds, it condenses and then rains or snows, as fresh water. Then the perpetual loop of the water cycle restarts.

What are the main steps to the water cycle?

evaporation and then water flowing down to the ocean again

Which steps in the water cycle carry water out of an ocean and into a freshwater lake?

Evaporation and precipitation