- Water from precipitation has two places to go. It can either run off the land or become absorbed by it. To absorb is to soak up, like a sponge.
- Most water ends up as runoff. Runoff water goes into lakes and rivers. Most of it eventually ends up in the oceans. Water that soaks into the Earth is called groundwater. Runoff can be responsible for erosion. Erosion is the gradual wearing away of rock or soil by physical breakdown, chemical solution, and/or transportation of material, as caused, for example, by water, wind, or ice.
- Groundwater is water found below ground. This water can collect in layers of rock, gravel, or sand to form aquifers.
- Aquifers are underground concentrations of water. There are many such aquifers underground in Massachusetts, and these provide a great deal of freshwater for drinking, industry, and agriculture.
- Watersheds are areas of land and bodies of water that drain into the same, larger body of water.
Living organisms are directly affected by how water is stored. Click on the "play" arrow under Wanda the fish. How is her life affected by how water changes with the seasons?
- To freeze is to change from a liquid state to a solid state. When the temperature is cold enough, water freezes into ice.
- Ice is less dense than water, and that is why ice cubes float. This is an unusual characteristic for a solid.
- However, like other solids, ice has a definite shape and volume. Other characteristics of this state of matter are molecules that hold together very tightly and often line up in exact patterns, therefore, solids do not flow. Solids do not change their shapes or volumes.
- When the temperature warms up again, solid ice melts into liquid water. To melt is to change from a solid state to a liquid state.
Click Here to listen to water in January at Walden Pond!