matter can be recycled. The Water, Carbon, and Nitrogen Cycles are
the three main ways matter is recycled in the environment.
The Water Cycle
ninety percent of the Earth's water is locked beneath its surface
either in crystal rocks or deep in the interior and does not take
part in the water cycle. A large portion of the water that does
participate in the water cycle comes from the Earth's oceans.
1: A large quantity of water evaporates from the surface
of the ocean.
is the conversion of liquid water to a gaseous form of water called
Step 2: The
water vapor then condenses to form clouds. Most of this condensed
water will then precipitate back into the ocean, but some
will travel on and eventually float over land. Precipitate
means to condense from a vapor and fall as rain or snow.
Step 3: The
condensed water (clouds) that floats over land picks up more water
vapor from evaporation and transpiration. Transpiration
is the evaporation of water from the leaves of plants.
Step 4: The
accumulated water vapor will then fall to the ground as rain.
Step 5: The
rain water makes its way back to the ocean through streams and
rivers and starts the water cycle over again.