Biogeochemical Cycles Essay

2245 words - 9 pages

Life on earth maintains its balance by the existence of four biogeochemical cycles, namely, the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the phosphorus cycle. These cycles are formed on the basis of various organic and inorganic nutrients which circulate through the cycle in different forms along these cycles. These cycles are essential because they prevent the nutrients from being depleted entirely and without these chemicals "life on earth would not be possible" (Phillips and Hilgendorf).The Water cycle: -Water one of the most essential compounds due to which there is life on earth, makes up a major part of the earth and the human body, the reservoirs of water need to be ...view middle of the document...

Run off: - This occurs when ice and snow change into liquid forms and start flowing.Melting: - When temperature raises water changes from its solid form to its liquid form, by the process of melting.Infiltration: - The process by which water gets absorbed into the soil giving the soil moisture, sometimes the moisture level is so high that water goes beneath the soil layer taking along with it the nutrients that are present in the soil.Sublimation: - The process in which a solid changes to gas without changing to liquid in between.Groundwater flow: -Water that gets absorbed into the ground get absorbed into it and collects below the layer of soil, it then flows towards the major reservoirs of water such as oceans.Precipitation: - When water vapor condenses and changes into liquid precipitation takes place in the form of hailstorms, sleet, snow, rain.The hydro cycle begins when energy from the sun causes water to evaporate from water bodies such as oceans, lakes, rivers etc. and change it into water vapor and go into the atmosphere. Water also comes into the atmosphere when there is high temperature, from the stomata of leaves by the process of evapotranspiration. Water vapor then collects in the atmosphere to form clouds as temperature in the atmosphere becomes cooler the water vapor forms into droplets once the cloud become fully saturated with water droplets it condenses and perspiration takes place in the form of rainfall, snowfall, hail, sleet etc.ReservoirVolume (cubic km x 1,000,000) Percent of TotalOceans1370 97.25Ice Caps and Glaciers29 2.05Groundwater 9.5 0.68Lakes0.125 0.01Soil Moisture0.0650.005Atmosphere0.013 0.001Streams and Rivers0.0017 0.0001Biosphere 0.0006 0.00004Precipitation that occurs in mountainous regions leads to the formations of ice caps on the peaks of mountains which when temperature rises resulting in run-off of water from the melting ice-caps down the slopes in the forms of rivers. Some of the water from the rain gets absorbed into the ground by the soil and infiltrates it. Some of the absorbed water passes through the layer of soil and joins the underground water which flows towards larger water bodies such as seas and oceans. Deposition occurs during run off because the rivers carry along with them particles from the mountains and deposit them once they reach a flat area with no slope. Once again the water cycle begins when evaporation and evapotranspiration occurs from the water bodies and plants. The table above (The hydrologic cycle) shows the percentage of water which exists in various forms in its reservoirs.Since water is a non renewable source of energy, it is essential for it to be recycled because water is a source of life and if it ever depletes life on earth will cease to exist.The Carbon Cycle: -Carbon is most abundant non metal element that is present in living organisms, since it is such an essential element, it needs to be recycled regularly in order to prevent it from being used up completely from...

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