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ZingPath: Surface Water

Surface Water

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Surface Water

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Surface Water

Earth & Space Science

Learning Made Easy

You get to learn the ins and outs of the water cycle. Then find out about the surface water resources of the world, and the speed at which they are replenished.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain the water cycle.
  • Explain how surface water is replenished.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What happens to rainwater when it falls to the ground?

~ When rainwater falls to the ground, some of it ends up beneath the Earth's surface and becomes groundwater. The rest of the rainwater flows along the Earth's surface, according to the shape of the landscape, and forms streams, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans.

Describe the water cycle, beginning with the rain that falls from the clouds.

~ Rain that falls from the clouds falls to Earth and becomes groundwater or collects in streams, rivers, seas, and oceans. The heat from the sun's rays evaporates some of the water that has collected, which creates clouds full of moisture. When too much moisture collects in clouds, they become too heavy to hold the moisture, and the moisture returns to the Earth in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail. This closed cycle keeps the amount of water on our planet nearly constant.

What percentage of the Earth's water is suitable for drinking?

~ Only 3 percent of the water on Earth is suitable for drinking. Ninety-seven percent of the water is salt water in the seas and oceans. Most of Earth's freshwater is found in frozen glaciers and ice caps. The rest of the freshwater flows beneath the Earth as groundwater or collects in lakes, swamps, marshes, and rivers.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define the following terms: fresh water, lake, and ocean.
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary fresh water, lake, ocean