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24 Cards in this Set

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Water cycle

The continuous movement of water between the atmosphere, land, and oceans

Evaporation

The total loss of water from an area, which equals the sum of the water lost by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and the water lost by transpiration from prganisms

Condensation

The change of state from a gas to a liquid

Precipitation

Any form of water that falls to earths surface from the clouds; includes rain, snow, sleet, and hail

Desalination

A process of removing salt from ocean water

Tributary

A stream that flows into a lake or into a larger stream

Watershed

The area of land that is drained by a river system

Stream load

The materials other than the water that are carried by a stream

Discharge

The volume of water that flows within a given time

Gradient

The change in elevation over a given distance

Meander

One of the bends, twists, or curves in a low gradient stream or river

Braided stream

A stream or river that is composed of multiple channels that divide and rejoin around sediment bars

Delta

A fan shaped mass of rock material deposited at the mouth of a stream

Alluvial fan

A fan shaped mass of rock material deposited by a stream when the slope of the land decreases sharply

Floodplain

An area along a river that forms from sediments deposited when the river overflows its banks

Groundwater

The water that is beneath earths surface

Aquifer

A body of rock or sediment that stores groundwater and allows the flow of groundwater

Porosity

The percentage of the total volume of a rock or sediment that consists of open spaces

Permeability

The ability of a rock or sediment to let fluids pass through its open spaces, or pores

Water table

The upper surface of underground water; the upper boundary of the zone of saturation

Artesian formation

A sloping layer of permeable rock sandwiched between two layers of impermeable rock and exposed at the surface

Cavern

A natural cavity that forms in rock as a result of the dissolution of minerals; also a large cave that commonly contains many smaller, connecting chambers

Sinkhole

A circular depression that forms when rock dissolves, when overlying sediment fills an existing cavity, or when the roof of an underground cavern or mine collapses

Karst topography

A type of irregular topography that is characterized by caverns, sinkholes, and underground drainage and that forms of limestone or other soluble rock