The hydrologic cycle refers to the continuous movement of all water contained on the Earth. This includes water which exists in the form of liquid, ice and vapor found on, above and below the surface of the Earth.
The hydrologic cycle begins with the process of evaporation from the surface of the world’s oceans. This vapor is then transformed into liquid water to form clouds and cloud droplets via condensation. Moisture returns to the surface of the Earth as precipitation. The water resulting from precipitation evaporates back into the atmosphere or becomes groundwater. This water seeps into the Earth’s bodies of water or is released back into the atmosphere. The runoff that remains on the Earth’s surface makes its way to all of the lakes, rivers and streams to be carried to the oceans.