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Hydrosphere, Biosphere & Lithosphere - Essay Example

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In the hydrological cycle, the water circulates between the oceans, the atmosphere and the continents. The water can exist in any of the three states during the transportation, i.e. as vapor expressed as humidity…
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Hydrosphere, Biosphere & Lithosphere
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Download file to see previous pages Explain the relationship between the saturated zone, the water table, a ground water well and the cone of depression, all within the sub-surface. In the hydrological cycle, the water circulates between the oceans, the atmosphere and the continents. The water can exist in any of the three states during the transportation, i.e. as vapor expressed as humidity, as liquid in the form of droplets or as solid such as in the form of ice crystals or snowflakes. During the various process involved in the hydrological cycle, the quantity of water or 'water balance' that changes between inflow and outflow can be estimated based on the principle of conservation of mass. The movement of the water including the formation of water vapor is driven mainly by solar energy although other forces are also involved. The water evaporates from the surface of the ocean during the vapor phase. It then usually either falls as rain onto the surface of the earth (liquid phase) or as snowfall (solid phase) under the process of precipitation, and on land a large portion of it usually flows in rivulets and rivers from the mountain tops to the seas in liquid form under the influence of gravity (surface runoff). Some of the water reaching land surfaces is also absorbed by the soil (infiltration) which can then follow one of several paths such as directly to the atmosphere by plants through transpiration. Within the sub-surface, a 'saturated zone' develops near the water table which is the surface that separates this zone from the zone of aeration (Monroe et al., 2006: 524). The saturated zone develops from the capillary rise of water in the pores of the soil, sediments and rocks. When a water well is used to pump the groundwater, the lowering of the water table in the area of the well can create a 'cone of depression', which refers to the loss of water having exceeded its inflow. 2.The food chain is a valuable concept in biogeography. Give an example of a specific food chain, labeling the various levels of the food chain. After looking at characteristics of food chains, explain how a geographer’s approach to the study of organisms might be different than biologist’s study of organisms; what would each try to emphasize more than the other? What exactly is a biome? Compare/contrast the concept of the biome with that of the zoogeographic region. Compare/contrast the floral characteristics of 2 of the following biomes: Desert, Tundra, Midlatitude Grassland and Boreal Forest. An example of a simple three-step specific food chain is given below with the deer as the herbivore and the lion as the carnivore. Food chains indicate a unidirectional transfer of energy beginning with the producers (as autotrophs) and ending with the topmost carnivores. Knowing the food chains help in identifying the interactions and interdependence between living organisms. The distributions of the energies and biomasses in each food chain are typically though not always pyramidal. In reality, many food chains have at least four steps and several are intricately linked forming food webs. Grass (producer) > Deer (herbivore) > Lion (carnivore) In studying the characteristics of food chains, a geographer would be more interested in the wider ecosystems; in how the components of the chain are interdependent, in the flow of energy through the whole system between the different trophic levels, in examining the levels of biomass, and so on. A biome is a natural ecological grouping of animals and plants on the basis of climates, i.e. “all the ecosystems taken together in a given geographical area having the same type of climate” (Bharatdwaj, 2006: 100). Other environmental factors could also differentiate biomes but they are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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