water cycle

syn. hydrological cycle 

Succession of stages through which water passes from the atmosphere to the earth and returns to the atmosphere: evaporation from the land or sea or inland water, condensation to form clouds, precipitation, accumulation in the soil or in bodies of water, and re-evaporation.

 

Source:

UNESCO/WMO International Glossary of Hydrology (2nd revised ed., 1992)

Posted on February 25, 2014 .