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The Hydrologic Cycle
  
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Four Seasons in One Dayby aussiegall on Flickr

The Sun's heat provides energy to EVAPORATE water from the Earth's surface (oceans, lakes, etc.)
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Oak Leaf Raindropsby peasap on Flickr

The water vapor eventually CONDENSES, forming tiny droplets in clouds. 
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Gadancha Raja, Rajancha Gadby flickrohit on Flickr

Water continues to evaporate in the cool air, forming clouds. The clouds are formed by evaporated water vapors (gas) that condense and eventually lead to precipitation.  
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Ahead of the storm front - Key Biscayneby joiseyshowaa on Flickr

When the clouds meet cool air over land, PRECIPITATION (rain, sleet, or snow) is triggered, and water returns to the land (or sea). Some of the precipitation soaks into the ground.
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a walk in to the woodsby VinothChandar on Flickr

Some of the precipitation soaks into the ground. 
Some of the underground water is trapped between rocks or clay layers; this is called groundwater. 
Most of the water flows downhill as RUNOFF (above ground or underground), eventually returning to the seas as slightly salty water. 
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Four Seasons in One Dayby aussiegall on Flickr

THE WATER CYCLE STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN!
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