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The Cycling of Water on the Continents

The Cycling of Water on the Continents - OVERVIEW...

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The Cycling of Water on the Continents  OVERVIEW   This chapter examines what is probably the single most important environmental agent  acting at the earth's surface: water. The circulation of water within the earth's surface  system is described by the hydrologic cycle. This chapter examines two parts of that  cycle: water at the land surface and water underground. Fresh water in lakes and rivers accounts for less than 1% of the earth's water.  This fresh water is derived from precipitation over the continents generated in the  operation of the global  hydrologic cycle The  soil layer  plays an important role determining if precipitation will be directed  to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration, to groundwater by percolation, or to  streams and rivers as runoff.  The  water table  marks the upper surface of the  groundwater
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