Chapter 17: Hydrologic Cycle and Groundwater 1. Hydrology is the study of movements and characteristics of groundwater a. The hydrologic cycle has a profound effect upon climate prediction b. Water is vital so we must understand where to find water and how water supplies cycle through the Earth 2. Water and Reservoirs a. Water a.i. The essence of life-necessary for the survival of all organisms a.ii. Used for many things, but commonly taken for granted a.iii. It is a critical resource a.iv. Unique substance-exists as gas, solid, and liquid on the Earth’s surface a.v. It participates in all geological processes a.vi. Salt water: 95.96% of water, freshwater: 4.04% of water a.vi.1. Most freshwater is in glaciers (74%), most unfrozen water is groundwater (26%) a.vi.2. Not all groundwater is fresh a.vi.3. There is a limit to the amount of fresh water which we can use b. Reserve are limited b.i. They are rapidly decreasing in quality and quantity b.ii. They are nonrenewable b.iii. Will there be sufficient quantities to sustain our future needs? b.iv. Is the quality adequate? c. Hydrologic cycle c.i. Description of pathways water moves through various reservoirs c.ii. Evaporates from land and sea surfaces and returns as precipitation as rain, snow, or ice c.iii. Gravity of Earth insures that although water may move around it is conserved c.iv. Solar driven: The ultimate energy source for this cycle is the sun d. Water cycle components d.i. Precipitation-solid or liquid d.i.1. Rain soaks into ground as groundwater d.i.2. Surface runoff-related to climate and rainfall patterns d.i.3. Lakes and wetlands are important repositories for runoff— natural flood regulator d.i.4. The hydrology of runoff: Similarity of a dammed lake and a natural lake d.ii. Evaporation d.ii.1. Oceans are primary source for evaporation- more leaves than falls on oceans, offset by runoff on land d.ii.2. Some water is returned by transpiration to the atmosphere e. Freshwater and the water cycle e.i. Limit to freshwater available—controlled by rainfall that reaches land e.ii. The hydrologic cycle implies freshwater is renewable
e.iii. However, percolation rates are so slow (up to 50k yrs), groundwater can be treated as non-renewable 3. Hydrology and climate a. Key climatic factors a.i. Relative humidity a.ii. Rainfall a.iii.
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