Evaporation: The water cycle begins with the process of evaporation, where heat from the sun causes water from oceans, lakes, and rivers to turn into water vapor and rise into the atmosphere.
Condensation: As the water vapor rises, it cools and condenses into tiny water droplets, forming clouds in the atmosphere.
Precipitation: When the water droplets in clouds combine and grow larger, they fall back to the Earth's surface as precipitation, including rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
Surface Runoff: Precipitation that doesn't infiltrate into the ground may run off the surface, eventually making its way to rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Infiltration: Some precipitation soaks into the ground, a process known as infiltration, replenishing groundwater or leading to the formation of surface water bodies.
Transpiration: Water from plants also contributes to the water cycle through transpiration, where moisture is released from plant leaves into the atmosphere.
Sublimation: In some cases, ice and snow may undergo sublimation, directly turning into water vapor without melting first.
The water cycle is a continuous and dynamic process, driven by solar energy and involving the movement of water in various forms between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere.