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9 Components of the Hydrological Cycle and their Descriptions

by Widiya

We agree that water is an abundant component of nature. Surprisingly, the amount of water on planet Earth is more than the number of terrestrial ecosystems on Earth. It is indeed a very important component and is needed by society so that the Earth becomes a planet that is very suitable for living by organisms, such as humans, animals, and plants. Water has many functions and uses. Humans just need water very much, such as drinking, bathing, washing, cooking, producing, and so on. Meanwhile, animals and plants need water to survive which is to meet their body fluids. In addition, there are many more functions of water.

Every person must consume water every day. If everyone every day consumes 5 liters of water for drinking, bathing, and other necessities, can we imagine how many liters of water are consumed each day? Then, why does the water on Earth not run out even after being used every day? The answer is certainly because of the hydrological cycle. The hydrological cycle is a cycle that describes the rotation of water that exists on Earth. Water on Earth experiences a cycle so that its availability cannot be exhausted even though it is used in large quantities daily. The hydrological cycle that exists on Earth will be studied below.

Hydrological Cycle

The water cycle is the event of rotation of water from its source, then it becomes rain and falls into groundwater again and some flows back into the sea. Some stages of the hydrological cycle include the following:

  1. Evaporation

Evaporation is an event that begins the hydrological cycle. Evaporation occurs in water sources on Earth such as various types of the sea, various lakes, rivers, reservoirs, swamps, and so forth. Like the nature of water which when heated it will evaporate, this is how evaporation occurs. But the one who experiences evaporation is just not it, but also others like plants where evaporation is called transpiration and also humans known as respiration.

  1. The Formation of Clouds

After the evaporation mentioned above, the next is the formation of clouds. The water vapor produced by evaporation will rise above because it is carried by wind or air. Above, the water vapor is gathered together and clouds form that contains a lot of water vapor or what we usually know as cloudy. There are many clouds that are formed and some are small depending on the level of evaporation.

  1. Condensation

After the process of forming clouds, then the clouds increasingly rise to the top. When above, the clouds reach a saturation point which causes the water vapor inside to turn into raindrops. This event is called condensation.

  1. Precipitation

When the water points of the cloud are bigger, that is when the precipitation stage is the stage of rain. The rain that falls can be heavy, very thick, medium or drizzle. This depends on the previous cloud conditions.

  1. Infiltration

The raindrops that come from the cloud fall to the surface of the Earth. After reaching the surface of the Earth, two things will happen. First, the water will flow to the surface as surface water, and second, the water will be absorbed into the soil through the soil pores. Both surface water and absorbed into the soil will eventually flow into the sea and some will return to evaporate until the next cycle occurs.

Now that is a few stages of the hydrological cycle. These stages occur very regularly until finally, all water reserves on Earth are always sufficient to meet human needs. From this information, we can find that there are components of the hydrological cycle. We will discuss these components below.

Components of the Hydrological Cycle

The hydrological cycle is a rotation of water on Earth so that its availability is always there to meet the needs of human life. In the hydrological cycle, we find several components that we will discuss together. Some components of the hydrological cycle include the following:

  1. Evaporation

The first component of the hydrological cycle is evaporation originating from water that is on the surface of the Earth. Water sources in the sea and also land experience evaporation due to sunlight, which then turns into water vapor that is not visible in the atmosphere. This water vapor then becomes the forerunner of the formation of rain and begins the hydrological cycle.

  1. Transpiration

Evaporation other than from water sources, both seawater and that on land, also comes from plants. Evaporation from plants is called transpiration. Evaporation from this plant is the release of water vapor from plants, especially from the stomata or leaf mouth. Evaporation from this plant is also not seen in the atmosphere.

  1. Evapotranspiration

The next component of the hydrological cycle is evapotranspiration which is a combination of evaporation of water with evaporation originating from plants.

  1. Condensation

The next component is condensation, or the formation of lots of water, dew, snow or ice. This event occurs because the water vapor that rises to a higher layer of the atmosphere will experience cooling so that the water vapor will undergo a change in the form of gas to solid and liquid. Dew, the dots of water, snow, and ice are fog and cloud-forming materials.

  1. Precipitation

The next component is precipitation or the occurrence of rain. These dewdrops, snow or ice are then getting bigger and bigger so that we can feel it as rain. Rain can be in the form of water rain, snowfall, hail, and so on according to the condensation that has occurred before. The precipitation or formation of this rain comes from the cloud. The collection of clouds moves around the world arranged according to the flow of air to fall to a place.

  1. Advance

Advection is the process of transporting water with horizontal movements, such as heat and water vapor originating from one location to another which is driven by horizontal air movement. Advancement is one component of the hydrological cycle.

  1. Infiltration (Location)

Rainwater that has fallen to the surface of the Earth, especially on land and then will seep into the soil by flowing infiltration through gaps or pores of the soil and rocks so that it will reach the groundwater level and will become underground water.

  1. Surface Run-Off

Water can move due to the action of capillary or water can also move vertically or horizontally below the surface of the groundwater so that the water will re-enter the surface water system. Surface water is inundated such as lakes, reservoirs, swamps, and others and some are flowing and then return to the sea.

  1. Interception

The rain that falls in forest areas sometimes does not directly reach the ground because it is held back by leaves or by tree trunks. This is a result of the interception.

Now you know what components are in the hydrological cycle. These components are like the stages that occur in the hydrological cycle. Every step and processes that happen on the Earth are like a miracle sent by the Creator.

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