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Encyclopedia > Hydrosphere
The movement of water around, over, and through the Earth is called the water cycle, a key process of the hydrosphere.
The movement of water around, over, and through the Earth is called the water cycle, a key process of the hydrosphere.

A hydrosphere (Greek hydro means "water") in physical geography describes the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet. Download high resolution version (860x589, 761 KB)Water cycle http://ga. ... Download high resolution version (860x589, 761 KB)Water cycle http://ga. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... True-color image of the Earths surface and atmosphere Physical geography (also know as geosystems or physiography) is a subfield of geography that focuses on the systematic study of patterns and processes within the hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. ... This article is about the astronomical term. ...

Contents

Earth's hydrosphere

The Earth's hydrosphere consists of elements in all forms: the ocean (which is the bulk of the hydrosphere), other surface waters including inland seas, lakes, and rivers; rain; underground water; ice (as in glaciers and snow); and atmospheric water vapor (as in clouds). The average depth of the oceans is 3,794 m (12,447 ft), more than five times the average height of the continents. The mass of the oceans is approximately 1.35 × 1018 tonnes, or about 1/4400 of the total mass of the Earth (ranges reported: 1.347 × 1021 to 1.4 × 1021 kg.[1] ) Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... An inland sea is a shallow sea that covers central areas of continents during high stands of sea level that result in marine transgressions. ... This article is about the body of water. ... Lake Clearwater, Ontario, Canada A lake is a large body of water, usually fresh water, surrounded by land. ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... This article is about precipitation. ... Missing main definition------ someone add if you know it please. ... This article is about water ice. ... This article is about the geological formation. ... Snow is a type of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds. ... For other uses, see Atmosphere (disambiguation). ... Water vapor or water vapour (see spelling differences), also aqueous vapor, is the gas phase of water. ... For other uses, see Cloud (disambiguation). ... Animated, colour-coded map showing the various continents. ...


The abundance of water on Earth is a unique feature that distinguishes our "Blue Planet" from others in the solar system. Approximately 70.8[2] percent (97% of it being sea water and 3% fresh water[3]) of the Earth is covered by water and only 29.2 percent is landmass. Earth's solar orbit, volcanism, gravity, greenhouse effect, magnetic field and oxygen-rich atmosphere seem to combine to make Earth a water planet. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... This article is about the Solar System. ... Sea water is water from a sea or ocean. ... For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... Wikinews has related news: Scientists warn thawing Siberia may trigger global meltdown A schematic representation of the exchanges of energy between outer space, the Earths atmosphere, and the Earth surface. ... Magnetic field lines shown by iron filings In physics, the space surrounding moving electric charges, changing electric fields and magnetic dipoles contains a magnetic field. ... Understanding planetary habitability is partly an extrapolation of the Earths conditions, as it is the only planet currently known to harbor life. ...


Earth is actually beyond the outer edge of the orbits which would be warm enough to form liquid water. Without some form of a greenhouse effect, Earth's water would freeze. Paleontological evidence indicates that at one point after blue-green bacteria (Cyanobacteria) had colonized the oceans, the greenhouse effect failed, and Earth's oceans may have completely frozen over for 10 to 100 million years in what is called a snowball Earth event. Wikinews has related news: Scientists warn thawing Siberia may trigger global meltdown A schematic representation of the exchanges of energy between outer space, the Earths atmosphere, and the Earth surface. ... Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, ancient; ontos, being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. ... Orders The taxonomy of the Cyanobacteria is currently under revision. ... One computer simulation of conditions during the Snowball Earth period. ...


On other planets, such as Venus, gaseous water is destroyed (cracked) by solar ultraviolet radiation, and the hydrogen is ionized and blown away by the solar wind. This effect is slow, but inexorable. This is one hypothesis explaining why Venus has no water. Without hydrogen, the oxygen interacts with the surface and is bound up in solid minerals. Adjectives: Venusian or (rarely) Cytherean Atmosphere Surface pressure: 9. ... For other uses, see Ultraviolet (disambiguation). ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ... This article is about the electrically charged particle. ... The plasma in the solar wind meeting the heliopause The solar wind is a stream of charged particles (i. ... For other uses, see Mineral (disambiguation). ...


In the Earth's atmosphere, a tenuous layer of ozone within the stratosphere absorbs most of this energetic ultraviolet radiation high in the atmosphere, reducing the cracking effect. The ozone, too, can only be produced in an atmosphere with a large amount of free diatomic oxygen, and so also is dependent on the biosphere (plants). The magnetosphere also shields the ionosphere from direct scouring by the solar wind. For other uses, see Ozone (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... A magnetosphere is the region around an astronomical object in which phenomena are dominated or organized by its magnetic field. ... Relationship of the atmosphere and ionosphere The ionosphere is the uppermost part of the atmosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. ...


Finally, volcanism continuously emits water vapor from the interior. Earth's plate tectonics recycle carbon and water as limestone rocks are subducted into the mantle and volcanically released as gaseous carbon dioxide and steam. It is estimated that the minerals in the mantle may contain as much as 10 times the water as in all of the current oceans, though most of this trapped water will never be released. Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Vapor (US English) or vapour (British English) is the gaseous state of matter. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... For other uses, see Carbon (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Limestone (disambiguation). ... The Juan de Fuca plate sinks below the North America plate at the Cascadia subduction zone. ... For other uses, see Steam (disambiguation). ...


The water cycle describes the methods of transport for water in the hydrosphere. This cycle includes water beneath the Earth's surface and in rocks (lithosphere), the water in plants and animals (biosphere), the water covering the surface of the planet in liquid and solid forms, and the water in the atmosphere in the form of water vapor, clouds, and precipitation. Movement of water within the hydrosphere is described by the hydrologic cycle. It is easy to see this motion in rivers and streams, but it is harder to tell that there is this motion in lakes and ponds. The movement of water around, over, and through the Earth is called the water cycle. ... The tectonic plates of the Lithosphere on Earth. ... For other uses, see Biosphere (disambiguation). ... Air redirects here. ... Water vapor or water vapour (see spelling differences), also aqueous vapor, is the gas phase of water. ... For other uses, see Cloud (disambiguation). ... The water cycle—technically known as the hydrologic cycle—is the circulation of water within the earths hydrosphere, involving changes in the physical state of water between liquid, solid, and gas phases. ... For the Second World War frigate class, see River class frigate The Murray River in Australia A waterfall on the Ova da Fedoz, Switzerland A river is a large natural waterway. ... STREAMS is the Unix System V networking architecture. ... Lake Clearwater, Ontario, Canada A lake is a large body of water, usually fresh water, surrounded by land. ... Ponds Cream is a brand of beauty and healthcare products that is produced by Unilever of England. ...


The water in the oceans moves as it is of different temperature and salinity on different locations. Surface waters are also moved by winds, giving rise to surface ocean currents. Warm water is lighter or less dense than cold water which is more dense or heavier and salty water is also more dense than fresh water. The combination of the water's temperature and salinity determines whether it rises to the surface, sinks to the bottom, or stays at some intermediate depth. Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... For other uses, see Temperature (disambiguation). ... Annual mean sea surface salinity for the World Ocean. ... The prevailing winds are the trends in speed and direction of wind over a particular point on the earths surface. ... An ocean current is any more or less permanent or continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earths oceans. ... In mathematics, the term dense has at least three different meanings. ... For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ...


History

Formation

There are several theories regarding the formation of the hydrosphere on the Earth. The planet contains proportionately more surface water than comparable bodies in the inner solar system. Outgassing of water from the interior of the Earth is not sufficient to explain the quantity of water. This does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the Solar System. ...


A hypothesis that has gained popularity among scientists is that the early Earth was subjected to a period of bombardment by Comets and water-rich Asteroids. Much of the water on the surface today is thought to have originated from the outer parts of the solar system, such as from Trans-Neptunian objects. Comet Hale-Bopp Comet West For other uses, see Comet (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Asteroid (disambiguation). ... A trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is any object in the solar system that orbits the sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune. ...


Ice ages

Main article: Ice age

During the history of Earth there have been a series of periods in which a significant portion of the hydrosphere was locked up in the form of glacial ice. It has even been hypothesized that during the Cryogenian period this sea ice extended all the way to the equator. (See Snowball Earth). Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... For the history of modern humans, see History of the world. ... The Cryogenian Period (from Greek cryos ice and genesis birth) is the second geologic period of the Neoproterozoic Era, followed by the Ediacaran Period. ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... One computer simulation of conditions during the Snowball Earth period. ...


In all there are currently believed to have been four major ice ages during the Earth's history. The current ice age began about 40 million years ago, and gained in intensity during the Pleistocene. The most recent withdrawal of the ice sheets occurred only 10,000 years ago. For the history of modern humans, see History of the world. ... The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) on the geologic timescale is the period from 1,808,000 to 11,550 years BP. The Pleistocene epoch had been intended to cover the worlds recent period of repeated glaciations. ...


Life

All currently recognized forms of life rely on an active hydrosphere. The water cycle in the Earth's hydrosphere allows for the purification of salt water into fresh water. Evaporation and wetland swamps serve to remove a large portion of atmospheric pollutants from the atmosphere (ie. acid rain). Through this process the water cycle purifies the gaseous atmosphere. Although most life on the planet exists in the salt water oceans, humans are particularly interested in the hydrosphere because it provides the fresh water we depend upon.


The search for life in other celestial bodies in our solar system is focused on first locating water. The hydrosphere's of other planetary bodies is also the focus of research to find places that humans can inhabit without having to transport all their water with them.


Extinction

Scientists estimate that in 5 × 109 years the Sun will have exhausted the supply of Hydrogen in its core and will evolve into a red giant. The outer atmosphere will expand significantly and the planet Earth will lie within the photosphere. During this process the surface temperature will rise far above the boiling point of water, and all water on the Earth's surface will evaporate. Sol redirects here. ... According to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, a red giant is a large non-main sequence star of stellar classification K or M; so-named because of the reddish appearance of the cooler giant stars. ... The photosphere of an astronomical object is the region at which the optical depth becomes one for a photon of wavelength equal to 5000 angstroms. ... Italic text This article is about the boiling point of liquids. ...


Other hydrospheres

A thick hydrosphere is thought to exist around the time of the gays such as U Jovian moon Europa. The outer layer of this hydrosphere is almost entirely frozen, but current models predict that there is an ocean up to 100 km in depth underneath the ice. This ocean remains in a liquid form due to tidal flexing of the moon in its orbit around Jupiter. It has been suggested that the Jovian moon Ganymede and the Saturnian moon Enceladus may also possess sub-surface oceans. However the ice covering is expected to be thicker on Jupiter's Ganymede than on Europa. For other uses, see Jupiter (disambiguation). ... Apparent magnitude: 5. ... Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 after breaking up under the influence of Jupiters tidal forces. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... This article is about the natural satellite of Jupiter. ... Atmosphere Surface pressure: trace, significant spatial variability[8][9] Composition: 91% Water vapour 4% Nitrogen 3. ...


See also

For other uses, see Biosphere (disambiguation). ... The cryosphere, derived from the Greek word kryos for frost or icy cold, is the term which collectively describes the portions of the Earth’s surface where water is in solid form, including sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets, and frozen ground... Air redirects here. ... The tectonic plates of the Lithosphere on Earth. ... The pedosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth that is composed of soil and subject to soil formation processes. ... The movement of water around, over, and through the Earth is called the water cycle. ...

References

  1. ^ The Physics Factbook, http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1998/AvijeetDut.shtml
  2. ^ Pidwirny, Michael (2006). Fundamentals of Physical Geography. PhysicalGeography.net. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  3. ^ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Water/

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Look up Hydrosphere in
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  • Ground Water - USGS

  Results from FactBites:
 
hydrosphere: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (1605 words)
Hydrosphere (Greek hydro means "water") in physical geography, describes the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet.
This cycle includes water beneath the Earth's surface and in rocks (lithosphere), the water in plants and animals (biosphere), the water covering the surface of the planet in liquid and solid forms, and the water in the atmosphere in the form of water vapor, clouds, and precipitation.
The hydrosphere's of other planetary bodies is also the focus of research to find places that humans can inhabit without having to transport all their water with them.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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