Topic 8: Water and Climate

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Capillarity
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the process by which water is drawn into openings due to the attractive force between water molecules and the surrounding Earth materials.
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Climate
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the overall view of a region’s weather conditions over long periods of time; includes not only averages, but extremes.
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Ground Water
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the subsurface water found beneath the water table in the zone of saturation; sometimes used to mean all subsurface water.
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Hydrologic Cycle
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a model, often a diagram, used to illustrate the movement and changes of state (phase) of water at and near Earth’s surface.
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Infiltrate
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water entering or sinking into, under the influence of gravity, the upper parts of Earth’s lithosphere where the water becomes subsurface water; also called seep.
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Permeability
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the degree to which a porous material (such as rock or soil) will allow fluids, such as water and oil, to pass through it; commonly measured in centimeters per hour.
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Porosity
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percentage of open space (pores and cracks) in a material compared to its total volume.
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Prevailing Winds
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winds that blow from a certain compass direction for a large part of the year; usually associated with the planetary wind belts.
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Runoff
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all the natural liquid water flowing at Earth’s solid surface, including stream flow.
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Seep
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water entering or sinking into, under the influence of gravity, the upper parts of Earth’s lithosphere where the water becomes subsurface water.
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Sorted
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a condition in which all the particles in a material are the same or similar in size, density, or shape.
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Stream Discharge
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the amount of water that passes a certain spot in a stream in a specific amount of time, such as liters per minute.
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Unsorted
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a condition in which the particles in a material are of mixed sizes (or shape, or density).
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Urbanization
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the growth of a city environment (an area of high human-population density).
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Water Cycle
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a model, often a diagram, used to illustrate the movement and changes of state (phase) of water at and near Earth’s surface; also called the hydrologic cycle.
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Water Retention
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storing or retaining of precipitation on Earth’s land surfaces as ice or snow, or as liquid water on trees and other plants.
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Water Table
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the interface between the zone of saturation and the zone of aeration.

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