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Chapter 1

GGR206H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Water Cycle, Vadose Zone, Water Vapor

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Jennifer Harris

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Chapter 1
Physical hydrology: is the study of physical, movement and occurrence of water on and below
the surface
This chapter deals with issues of climate hydrology or global hydrology
1.1 Major water types
Atmospheric water: water above the land surface; water is usually water vapor but it can be
liquid or solid
Surface water: water stored in ponds, lakes, streams or rivers
Water table: when water rises from the ground from a pit
Saturated zone: zone below the water table
Groundwater: water is stored
Unsaturated zone: contains soil with both air and water
Soil water: where water is stored from unsaturated zone
Fresh water is important to humans but only 2.5% is avalible for drinking
o 69% is in ice, 30% is from groundwater and 1% is surface water
o Most underground water is contaminated by salt
Box 1.1 What if all the polar caps melt?
o Sea levels have been changing due to increase in temperature
o Sea levels are rising
1.2 Hydrological cycle
hydrological cycle: describes the way water is heated by the sun and evaporates into water
Greenhouse gases effect the Earth's climate
They warm up the Earth's climate by CO2 known as the greenhouse effect
Without the greenhouse effect the Earth would be -18 C
Burning fossils fuels adds to the effect of greenhouse gases
Average residence time: average time for water to refill itself
Evaporation leaves salts and causes water vapor
Water vapor can return by raining over land (short cut) or through raining over an ocean
Overall the process is continuous
Scientists believe that global warming is speeding up the processes of the hydrological cycle
Box 1.2 Can global warming cause an ice age?
An hypothesis by Broecker is that global warming can create another ice age
Gulf Stream is deeper than thermohaline extension, there is positive feedback in this systems
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