What is hydrologic cycle and what are its processes?

The hydrological cycle is the sum total of all processes in which water moves from the land and ocean surface to the atmosphere and back in form of precipitation.It is also known as the water cycle. The following are the important processes of hydrologic cycle:

  • Evaporation: Evaporation is the primary pathway that water moves from the liquid state back into the water cycle as atmospheric water vapour. 
  • Condensation: Condensation is the change of the state of matter from the gas phase into the liquid phase, and is the reverse of vaporization.
  • Precipitation: precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapour that falls under gravitational pull from clouds.
  • Interception: Interception refers to precipitation that does not reach the soil, but is instead intercepted by the leaves, branches of plants and the forest floor.
  • Infiltration: Infiltration happens when water soaks into the soil from the ground level. It moves underground and moves between the soil and rocks.
  • Percolation: Percolation is the process of a liquid slowly passing through a filter.
  • Transpiration: Transpiration is the process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from aerial parts, such as leaves, stems and flowers.
  • Runoff: Runoff occurs when there is more water than land can absorb. The excess liquid flows across the surface of the land and into nearby creeks, streams, or ponds.
  • Storage: Storage is where water in the system resides or rests as it moves from one water reservoir to another.

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