How Does Rain Happen, Where Does The Rain Go, Why is The Ocean Salty, and Where is The Main Freshwater Source?
How does rain happen, Where does the rain go, Why is the ocean salty, and Where is the main freshwater source?
In this article I will explain the basics of what was indicated in the title.
1. How does rain happen? Well to start, I’ll have to begin with the ground and plants. There is a LOT of water underground. The soil is moist yes, but there is a thing called groundwater flow. Under the water table (The water table is a line under the ground that signifys when the soil becomes saturated)(Saturated means that the soil can not hold any more water and that it is soaked) is where groundwaterflow exists, and it makes up 0.685% of the entire Hydrosphere! Thats only a little right? I’ll get into where the rest is in a minute. When there is a body of water somewhere, the sun makes it warm, and then evaporation happens. Evaporation evaporates water into the air. Eventually condensationn happens and it turns into a cloud. Then when the cloud can’t hold anymore water, it precipitates. Precipitation can come in several different forms: rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Now, another way of this to be done is called transpiration. It would be the same process except when transpiration happens, the water is evaporated from plants.
2. Now that we know where rain comes from, where does it go? Well, the water that falls onto land can either go into the soil, or, run along the ground wich is called surface runoff. If it goes via surface runoff, it will eventually flow into a stream, river, lake, or ocean. Another way it can get to a larger source of water would be via river flow. The water would flow along the river, usually to the ocean. How long does it take to get to the ocean? You might ask. Well, The residence time (How long the water stays in a lake/river…) For a river is about 2 weeks. For an ocean however, the residence time is around 4,000 years!
3. So why is the ocean salty? I can awnser that outright. When water evaporates it leaves the salt behind. How did it get salty? Usually surface runoff will pick things up as it’s ” running off” the land (including salt). Salty water makes up around 97% of our water on the earth. Most of our freshwater source is contained in Icebergs and Glaciers.
4. Icebergs and Glaciers make up 2.050% of the Hydrosphere, and are fresh water, unlike sea ice. Sea ice is Sea water that is frozen, Icebergs are completly different! Ice bergs started as glaciers, wich form on mountaintops and slide down the mountainside into the sea. 90% of an Iceberg is underwater so we only see about one tenth of them! Icebergs are our main freshwater source but the largest LIQUID freshwater source is groundwater.
So there are the basice I hope you enjoyed!