Unit 8 - Climate and The Water Cycle


75% of the earth is covered by water.


The Water Cycle

Animated Movie on Water Cycle by Tim and Moby

1. Molecules of water are heated by insolation, and water evaporates into the atmosphere.

2. As the water vapor is carried higher, the dew point is eventually reached, resulting in condensation, or clouds.

3. As these droplets become bigger, they fall from the sky, making precipitation.

4. Precipitation that landed on land becomes runoff, or groundwater. Both eventually end up in the ocean.

5. Some is evaporated and carried over land.

6. When water is in oceans, the cycle begins again.



There is 37 times more fresh water underground than in lakes, streams, and glaciers.

Water Movement through the Soil Video



The amount of open space in a material.

 Puzzler sorted and unsorted particles


The rate at which water can infiltrate a material.

Permeable- water can pass through it.

Impermeable- no water can flow through it.

Permeability Demo

Puzzler sorted sediments

Video on Porosity and Permeability


Capillary Action

The ability of water to move (over opposite of gravity) in the soil due to adhesion, cohesion and surface tension.

Rainbow Walking Water Video


The Water Table- The water table is the highest point at which the ground is saturated with water..

Zone of Saturation- zone in which all pores are filled with water.

Capillary Fringe- zone where water is pulled up by capillary action

Zone of Aeration- zone where pores are filled with air.

Soil moisture zone- zone where the soil is moist from surface water.


Loose or impermeable rock filled with water.


Hole that reaches the water table that fills with water from a aquifer.

Artesian Well-

Wells that form with force due to the Hydrostatic Pressure, or the weight of the water pushing down, making the
water spout with energy when tapped.



What Factors Determine the amount of solar energy received in an area?


The higher the latitude, the lower the angle of insolation. The closer to the equator, the higher the angle of insolation.

Daily Cycle-

The sunlight varies during the day due to the sun's path

Yearly Cycle-

The duration of the insolation can vary throughout the year, the more extreme the further away from the equator.


The length of night and day.

Earth's Surface-

Color- Black and other dark colors absorb heat, light colors reflect heat.

Snow is light and reflects heat, and urban pavement absorbs heat.

Specific Heat Capacity-

Ability of an object absorb heat without heating up.

Liquid water 1.0 Add 1 calorie of heat and Temperature raises 1 degree C

Lead .003 Add 1 calorie of heat and Temperature raises 33 degree C


Factors that Determine Climate


Determines angle of insulation and duration of insolation

New York has 15 hours of daylight in summer

New York has 9 hours of daylight in summer

The equator has 12 hour days at all times (Torrid Zone)

The poles have 6 month days and 6 month nights. (Frigid Zone)

Pressure and wind bands-

Pressure and wind bands are set in dominant patterns

Ocean Currents-

Currents transport hot water to the poles each year. The Gulf stream is an example of a dominant current.


The higher you travel, the lower the temperature. That is why there are mountains in the tropics that are covered with
snow and glaciers.


The landscape itself can have an effect. On the west coast for example, the Cascades set up a situation where there
are tropical areas to the west of the mountains, and desert on the eastern side of the same mountain range.