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What is the hydrological cycle? How do different components of this cycle function in tandem? | 66th BPSC geography Optional Paper Solutions

Water is a renewable and cyclical resource, it can be used and reused.

What is the hydrological cycle?

Water circulates in various forms (in liquid, solid and gaseous states) within the Earth's hydrosphere. Water through its various forms is a continuous exchange between the oceans, atmosphere, lithosphere, and organisms, this cyclic movement of water is called the hydrological cycle.


The following are the six components of the water cycle:

  • Water stored in oceans.
  • Water in the atmosphere.
  • Storage of water in snow and ice.
  • Surface water flow.
  • Groundwater
  • Water  stored in biomass(plant and animals)


The following diagram explains the relationship between the various components of the water cycle and its function.

hydrological cycle


Following are the various processes involved in the hydrological cycle:


Evaporation:

  • Evaporation is the process in which water in liquid form turns into vapor from water bodies.
  • Water from the water body reaches the atmosphere through the process of evaporation.


Transpiration:

  • Through the process of transpiration, the water present in the vegetation goes into the atmosphere in the form of vapor.


Evapotranspiration:

  • Through the process of evapotranspiration, the water present in the vegetation and the land goes into the atmosphere in the form of vapor.


Condensation:

  • Condensation is a process in which water vapor cools and turns into a liquid form of water. It is through the process of condensation that water turns into solid ice. 
  • Through condensation, clouds form from water vapor present in the atmosphere.
  • It is the opposite process of evaporation.


Sublimation:

  • Sublimation is a process in which water in a solid form (ice) is directly converted into water vapor.
  • Due to sublimation, the ice becomes vapor and reaches directly into the atmosphere in form of vapor.


Melting:

  • Melting is a process in which solid ice is converted into a liquid form of water after receiving heat.


Surface runoff:

  • The flow of water on the surface of the land when there is more rainfall is called surface runoff. Surface water reaches the oceans and other water bodies through surface runoff.


Infiltration :

  • Water seepage or  Infiltration is a process in which surface water enters the ground.


Precipitation:

  • Precipitation is a process in which water in liquid form or solid form comes back from the atmosphere to the earth.
  • Rainfall is an example of one type of precipitation.
  • hailfall is another example of precipitation.

Try to solve the following questions:

  • What is the hydrological cycle? How do different components of this cycle function in tandem?  ( 25 Marks, 66th BPSC geography Optional Paper) 
  • Explain the role of evaporation in the hydrologic cycle. ( UPSC 2018, 150 words, 10 marks)

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