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What Does Runoff Mean in the Water Cycle?

Runoff is nothing more than water “running off” the land surface. Just as the water you wash your car with runs off down the driveway as you work, the rain that mother nature covers the landscape with runs off downhill, too (due to gravity). Runoff is an important component of the natural water cycle.

What Does Runoff Mean in the Water Cycle?

Water is vital to life on Earth. The water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle, is the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the planet.

Water cycle describes how water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, condenses as rain or snow, falls back to the surface, and finally returns to the oceans.

The water cycle is a neverending, natural process that is constantly recycling water. The sun is the driving force behind the water cycle.

Solar energy heats up water in the oceans, causing it to evaporate into the atmosphere as water vapor. As the water vapor rises, it cools and condenses into clouds.

When the clouds get too full, they release the water in the form of precipitation. Precipitation can take the form of rain, sleet, hail, or snow.

It falls back to the surface of the earth, where it flows into rivers and lakes, or soaks into the ground as groundwater. Groundwater is water that has been soaked into the ground.

Some of it flows back into rivers and lakes, where it can evaporate and start the water cycle all over again. The rest of it seeps deep into the ground

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