Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Water Cycle: Groundwater

A portion of Earth's freshwater is stored under our feet, resting between layers of rock after it is absorbed into the soil.  Groundwater is an important source of water for drinking and for irrigating crops, but if humans pump it out of the ground faster than the water cycle can replace it, we risk disrupting the balance of the cycle and causing big problems!

Water Cycle: Runoff

Water cycle and erosion: In snowy areas, springtime melting leads to increased runoff, raising the water levels of rivers and causing increased erosion.  The Yosemite video below shows a strange phenomenon called "frazil ice" flowing through the park as the winter snows melt.  In other places, intense summer thunderstorms can cause flash floods that reshape the landscape through weathering, erosion, and deposition.  Check out these floods in action!


National Geographic: Weather

Factors that Affect the Climate

Gulf Stream

Jet Stream