High School Biology : Understanding the Water Cycle

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #28 : Ecology

In the water cycle, how does water return to the ground?

Possible Answers:

Sublimation

Evaporation

Condensation

Precipitation

Correct answer:

Precipitation

Explanation:

The water cycle is an important aspect of all ecosystems. It involves biotic and abiotic factors, which play a role in the pathways that move water in the water cycle. The water cycle is a recycling process that has no starting point, nor ending point. It can be divided into three stages: gas, liquid, and solid. The evaporation of water from bodies of water, such as an ocean, returns it to the atmosphere. This water, now in the clouds as vapor, can be converted back to liquid, which is known as condensation. The cooling of vapor in the clouds makes precipitation that is returned to the ground as rain, sleet, hail, and snow.

Example Question #1 : Understanding The Water Cycle

In the water cycle, what happens to water after it evaporates from the ocean?

Possible Answers:

It is absorbed by plants

It condenses into clouds

It rains onto the land

It continues to evaporate into outer space

It seeps into the ground as ground water

Correct answer:

It condenses into clouds

Explanation:

The next step of the water cycle after evaporation is condensation, causing the water to form clouds after it leaves the ocean. The clouds are then able to transport the water over land and return it to the soil via precipitation.

Example Question #2 : Understanding The Water Cycle

Where is most of the water located on Earth?

Possible Answers:

In rivers, streams, and lakes

In groundwater

In glaciers on land

In icebergs and the polar ice cap

In the oceans

Correct answer:

In the oceans

Explanation:

Most of the planet's water is located in the oceans as salt water. The earth's surface is about 71% covered by the oceans, and those oceans hold about 96% of all the water on earth.

Example Question #3 : Understanding The Water Cycle

Which of the following could affect infiltration of water into the surface of the soil?

I. Concrete sidewalks

II. Roads

III. Parks and gardens

 

Possible Answers:

III only 

I and II

I only

II and III

II only

Correct answer:

I and II

Explanation:

Infiltration is the process by which water can seep or be absorbed into the soil, which makes the soil wet or turns the water into groundwater. If there is something covering the soil, like a road or a sidewalk, then the water cannot be absorbed and instead sits on the hard surface. Parks and gardens allow the soil to be exposed and the water cycle to continue.

Example Question #1 : Understanding The Water Cycle

In the water cycle, where does water go once it has evaporated? 

Possible Answers:

Rain clouds in the atmosphere 

It becomes ground water 

Plants 

Rivers and lakes  

Correct answer:

Rain clouds in the atmosphere 

Explanation:

Evaporation is the process of water moving from the liquid phase to the gaseous phase and rising into the atmosphere. Once water has evaporated, it rises up into the atmosphere where it cools and forms clouds. During precipitation, this water may turn into river, lake, or ground water, which plants may have access to through their roots. 

Example Question #2 : Understanding The Water Cycle

Water loss from plant leaves is called __________.

Possible Answers:

precipitation  

respiration 

transpiration 

perspiration

Correct answer:

transpiration 

Explanation:

When plants lose water through its leaves, it is called transpiration. This happens when it gets too hot and the water they have stored evaporates and escapes from the stomata of their leaves. Respiration refers to the cellular process by which energy is produced. Perspiration is also known as sweating, and is used to prevent overheating. Precipitation is the falling of water (in one of several forms) from the atmosphere.

Example Question #6 : Understanding The Water Cycle

How does water enter the atmosphere?

Possible Answers:

Evaporation, transpiration and sublimation

Condensation

Boiling

Freezing

Raining

Correct answer:

Evaporation, transpiration and sublimation

Explanation:

Evaporation, transpiration and sublimation are the three processes by which water is vaporized and allowed to enter into the atmosphere. Transpiration is the process by which water is lost from plants during photosynthesis and respiration. Evaporation is the process by which water is vaporized by absorbing enough solar energy to break away from the rest of the water molecules, note the body of water does not come to a boil during evaporation. Sublimation is the vaporization of ice into water vapor in much the same way that evaporation occurs. 

Example Question #7 : Understanding The Water Cycle

How much of the Earth's water is freshwater?

Possible Answers:

2.5%

3.0%

2.0%

6.0%

15.5%

Correct answer:

2.5%

Explanation:

The Earth's freshwater composes 2.5% of the total water on Earth of which only 1.2% is available as surface water. 

Example Question #8 : Understanding The Water Cycle

Which part of the water cycle is a principle agent of erosion?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Evaporation

Infiltration

Condensation

Precipitation and runoff

Correct answer:

Precipitation and runoff

Explanation:

Only precipitation and runoff are the only two hydrologic cycle processes from the potential answers that result in major erosion. 

Example Question #9 : Understanding The Water Cycle

How much of world's freshwater is locked up in glacial ice?

Possible Answers:

40%

70%

67.7%

68.3%

68.7%

Correct answer:

68.7%

Explanation:

The glacial ice of the Arctic and Antarctic along with mountain glacial peaks compose 68.7% of all the freshwater on Earth. 

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