You’re here because you might be wanting answers to the question; How is water distributed through the biosphere?
Now if you don’t know what water is then you probably aren’t from around here, and you should probably think of either going back to your planet or getting some education.
But since I’m feeling extra nice today, I’ll give you a hint. (It makes up a little over 70% of our planet).
In this article, you'll learn about water, the biosphere, how water is distributed through it, the processes, the steps, and everything.
So get a tall glass of something chill (preferably water), sit back, and enjoy the reading.
The distribution of water in the biosphere is done through a process called the water cycle. Where water passes through a series of other processes like evaporation, precipitation, etc.
Simply put, the biosphere is the Earth’s zone of life. Or you can call the biosphere that portion of the earth where you can find life.
Everything from the deepest of tree roots systems in forest to the deepest and darkest ocean trenches.
Or from the rich and luxuriant rainforest to the incredibly high mountaintops, literally, anything that has lived on Earth makes up the biosphere.
Another question you might be asking is “fishes and other aquatic animals live in water, are they a part of the biosphere?”
Well, YES and NO! It’s a bit more complicated, you see. According to scientists, the earth is believed to be in spheres.
And these spheres are:
- The lithosphere: This is the solid layer of the earth.
- The Atmosphere: This is the thin layer of air that covers the Lithosphere.
- The Hydrosphere: This is the whole water on earth. This includes the water in the air and in the ground.
Now life can be found in all three of these spheres, so technically the biosphere (which is the 4th sphere) overlaps all of these spheres.
Hope I simplified that for you?
Note: Some scientists believe in the existence of biospheres in other planetary bodies beyond the earth, but this is all a hypothesis!
You can’t talk about the distribution of water through the biosphere without talking about the water cycle. So what is this ‘water cycle and why is it so important?
The hydrological or hydrologic cycle (relax, we’re still talking about the water cycle), helps in describing how water moves both underneath and above the Earth’s surface.
Now even though we know that the total amount of water on Earth is constant, how the water is partitioned tends to vary.
(A good example would be the quantity of water in the atmosphere, it isn’t constant as it could be a lot or rather little, depending on some factors).
So this water does move from one reservoir to the other. Like, let’s say from a river to the ocean or from the river to the atmosphere.
So, how does this happen?
Well, this is all done through some physical processes like condensation, evaporation, infiltration, precipitation, and a few other processes.
While water goes through all these processes, it also changes its form (like vapor, solid, and liquid).
Note: The process of evaporation purifies water, which when released could replenish the land as freshwater.
So, How Does It All Work?
How is water distributed through the biosphere? How does it all work?
What are the processes involved? Well, to keep it simple, it is all done through the water cycle.
The water cycle is as it is called, a cycle.
So there is no exact start to the cycle, but for the purpose of you easily understanding this, we could say the water cycle starts or is driven by the sun.
Now, what does the sun have to do with this? The sun emits rays that heat up oceans and seas.
This causes the water from the seas and oceans to evaporate (the process of water turning into vapor). This water vapor then moves up into the air.
Note: There are other forms in which water turns into vapor. Snow and ice could undergo sublimation and then turn into a vapor that goes into the air. Evapotranspiration also occurs in plants and soil.
Over time, as the vapor begins to gather up in the air, the temperature begins to drop and this leads to the vapor condensing into tiny but heavy water droplets.
Now, these heavy droplets get heavier as more vapor is added.
Over time, the droplets become heavier than even air, and without the support of an updraft, it begins to fall.
So What Triggers Precipitation?
The water vapor in the atmosphere can be moved across the globe through atmospheric circulation.
As these particles of the cloud grow and collide, they get pushed out of the upper layer of the atmosphere as precipitation.
This precipitation could fall as sleet, snow, or hail and could also gather in glaciers and ice caps that could keep water frozen for years.
What Triggers Rainfall?
Some of the water stored in the atmosphere also falls as rain back into the lands and oceans. Here the water then flows as surface runoff.
Part of this surface runoff then flows into rivers which then flow into oceans, the groundwater that comes from surface runoffs could be used in lakes as freshwater.
Over time, some of the groundwater then finds its way to openings on the land surface, becoming springs.
In floodplains and river valleys, continuous water exchanges often occur between the groundwater and the surface water.
As time progresses this water flows back into the ocean, letting the cycle continue over again.
Not all surface runoffs flow into the river, a lot of it is soaked back into the earth as some end up getting soaked as infiltration; these infiltrations could sip into the ground replenishing aquifers.
Is Water Recycled in the Biosphere?
So now that you know a lot about how water is distributed through the biosphere, it leads to the rise of another important question.
During the water cycle process, does water get recycled?
The answer to that question is yes!
Water does get recycled through the water cycle process. And as we already know, water is in its purest form when it turns to vapor.
Where Can We Find Water?
Most of the earth is made up of water (About 70%), so water is everywhere on earth. That is the sea and on land.
Water can be found not only in toilets and faucets but water can also be found in lakes, streams, wetlands, and reservoirs outside the home.
We call this surface water.
What Is Deep Water Recycling?
This is an aspect of the water cycle where water is being exchanged with the earth’s mantle through volcanic activity and the subduction zones.
It involves the entrance of water into the mantle by having the subducting oceanic plates carry it down (this process is called regassing).
And also being balanced by the degassing of water (which is the releasing of water at mid-ocean ridges).
With all that has been read in this article, I do hope you could give a little lecture to your friends titled “how is water distributed through the biosphere?” (I know that’s a weird lecture title but if we can use it, so can you!).
Water is quite essential to mother earth, it makes up a huge part of the earth and as you already know, a lot (if not all) living things on the earth depend on water for their survival.
The water cycle helps ensure that the water on earth never runs out and we thank her for that.
As always I recommend you check out our previous articles, who knows, you might learn something new.
For now, stay good and drink a lot of water.