The Water Cycle 01
Heavy rainfall is also known as precipitation.

The Water Cycle 01

This KS3 Geography quiz takes a look at the water cycle. Each year approximately 120,000km3 of water falls as precipitation on the land masses of the world and about 460,000km3 falls on the seas and oceans. Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain, snow and sleet are part of the water cycle. The water cycle is a way of describing how water is circulating on our planet.

All the world's ecosystems rely on water which mostly falls as rain. Water is constantly evaporating from the oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds and so on. This passes into the atmosphere and becomes part of the air. Warm air can hold more water vapour than cold air. When a mass of warm and cold air meet, the warm air rises above the cold air. This is called a front.

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As it rises, the warm air cools and the water vapour condenses to form clouds. Clouds are made from tiny droplets of liquid water. If the warm air is carrying a lot of water vapour, the clouds are so dense that the droplets of liquid join together and fall as precipitation. Eventually, these end up back in a body of water and they can be evaporated again, continuing the cycle.

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  1. What is the name for all forms of moisture that reach the ground?
    The water on the Earth today is the same that was here when dinosaurs lived!
  2. Very high, thin wispy clouds have what name?
    They often mean bad weather is on the way
  3. Another word for throughflow is what?
    It is the downward movement of water into the soil
  4. Warm and cold air meeting causes what sort of rain?
    The warm air is forced to rise over the cold air
  5. Man-made attempts to form cloud and rain is called what?
    Particles fired into the clouds cause large water droplets to form. Experiments in cloud seeding have met with mixed success
  6. Transpiration involves the release of water by what?
    Water vapour is released from the leaves
  7. Which word is not part of the water cycle?
    Condensation forms clouds. Evaporation and transpiration put water vapour into the air
  8. Precipitation returns to the atmosphere as what?
    There is always some water vapour in our atmosphere
  9. What type of rain is caused by moist air rising over mountains?
    The atmosphere is usually cooler the higher you go in mountains. Cold air can hold less water vapour than when it is warm so it falls as some form of precipitation
  10. What will reduce rates of infiltration?
    Impermeable rock will not let water through

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