Story: Soils

The water cycle

The water cycle

This diagram shows the hydrologic or water cycle. The cycling of water is essential to life on earth. Rainwater may run off into streams or lakes, or soak into the soil. There, it may be used by plants, or percolate into underground water storage, then seep into rivers or lakes. As plants use water, they transpire or lose some of it back into the atmosphere, where it eventually forms rain clouds.

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How to cite this page:

Allan Hewitt, 'Soils - The land’s thin skin', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 July 2024)

Story by Allan Hewitt, published 24 Sep 2007