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Unit 2

Earth's Water

TermDefinition
Polarity a property of a system in which two points have opposite charges
Cohesion the property that holds molecules of the same substance together
Adhesion the property that holds molecules of different substances together
Specific heat the amount of energy needed to heat a substance by a particular amount
Solvent substance into which other substances dissolve
Water cycle the continuous movement of water between the atmosphere, the land, the oceans, and living things
Sublimation a change of state from solid directly to gas
Deposition a change of state from a gas directly to solid
Freezing a change of state from liquid to solid
Melting a change of state from solid to liquid
Evaporation a change of state from liquid to gas
Condensation a change of state from gas to liquid
Transpiration the release of water into the atmosphere from the leaves of plants
Precipitation any form of water that falls to Earth from clouds
Runoff surface water that flows downhill towards oceans, lakes, and marshlands.
Infiltration process of water seeping into the ground
Surface water water above Earth’s surface
Groundwater water found in the spaces between rock particles below Earth’s surface
Water table the upper boundary of groundwater
Channel the path that a stream follows
Tributary a smaller stream that feeds into a river and eventually into a river system
Watershed the area of land that is drained by a river system
Divide an area of higher ground that separates one watershed from another
Gradient a measure of the change in elevation over a certain distance; the steepness of the land
Flow the amount of water that moves through a river channel in a given amount of time.
Stream load materials carried by a stream
Aquifer a body of rock or sediment that stores groundwater and allows it to flow
Pores open spaces between particles of rock or sediment
Porosity the percentage of the rock that is composed of pore space
Permeability a measure of how easily water can flow through an aquifer
Recharge the process of surface water trickling through the ground and entering an aquifer
Recharge zone the area in which surface water enters an aquifer
Discharge the process of water leaving an aquifer to become surface water
Discharge zone an area in which water leaves an aquifer
Ocean current stream-like movements of water within the ocean
Surface current ocean currents caused by wind that occur at or near the surface of the ocean
Continental deflections the change in the direction of surface currents as a result of coast of a land mass
Coriolis effect the deflection of moving objects from a straight path due to the Earth’s rotation
Deep current movements of ocean water far below the surface
Density the amount of matter in a given space or volume
Salinity a measure of the amount of dissolved salt in water
Convection current a movement of water that results from density differences
Upwelling the movement of deep, cold, and nutrient-rich water to the surface
Urbanization the growth of towns and cities that results from the movement of people from rural areas into the urban areas
Permafrost soil (and groundwater) that remains completely frozen for long periods of time at (least two years straight)
Water quality a measure of how clean or polluted water is
Water supply the availability of water
Water supply system carries water from groundwater or surface waters so people can use it
Water pollution the addition of waste or other material to water so that it is harmful to organisms that use it or live in it.
Point-source pollution pollution that comes from one specific site
Nonpoint-source pollution pollution that comes from many small sources and is more difficult to control
Thermal pollution any heating of natural water that results from human activity
Chemical pollution the result of harmful chemicals being added to water supplies
Acid rain a form of chemical pollution that results when harmful chemicals produced by the burning of fossil fuels mix with water in the air
Biological pollution pollution that results when live or dead organisms are added to water supplies
Wastewater any water that has been used by people in a way that may have contaminated it with harmful chemicals or microorganisms
Eutrophication an increase in the amount of nutrients in water
Artificial eutrophication the result of human activity increasing nutrient levels in water
Flocculation the process of removing particles and harmful microbes from water by adding chemicals that make them stick together and drop out of the water
Potable water that is suitable to drink
Reservoir a body of water that usually forms behind a dam
Subside the collapse of soil in an aquifer that has dried up
Saltwater intrusion the seeping of saltwater into an aquifer after overuse of groundwater
Created by: SchvederC