What is Hydrosphere?

The hydrosphere is the combined mass of water found on, under, and above the surface of the earth. It has been estimated that there are 1386 million cubic kilometres of water on earth. This includes water in liquid and frozen forms in groundwater, oceans, lakes and streams approximately 75% of Earth’s surface, an area of some 361 million square kilometres is covered by ocean.

Hydrological cycle

The hydrological cycle transfers water from one state or reservoir to another. Reservoirs include atmospheric moisture including snow, rain and clouds, streams, oceans, rivers lakes, groundwater, subterranean aquifers, polar icecaps and saturated soil.


The Solar energy is the source of heat and light and gravity causes the transfer from one state to another over periods from hours to thousands of years. Most evaporation comes from the oceans and is returned to the earth as snow or rain.

Importance of Hydrosphere

It consists of all bodies of water, icebergs and water vapour in the earth’s atmosphere. Oceans contain 97 per cent of water in the hydrosphere, while rivers, lakes and other water bodies on land and underground water contains a small percentage of total water in the hydrosphere.

Here is the importance of the layer-

  • Helps to maintain the hydrological cycle.
  • Good means of transport of water
  • Plays a vital role in the earth’s climate.
Hydrosphere Facts
  • The amount of water on the Earth’s surface remains constant over time. This signifies that the amount of water available on the Earth today is the same as it was when dinosaurs were roaming the Earth.
  • 68.7% of the freshwater exists in the form of permanent snow.
  • The total amount of water on Earth is about 333 million cubic miles or 1,386 million cubic kilometres.

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