Ch 24: Intro to Earth's Hydrosphere

About This Chapter

In this chapter, you'll review a short series of lessons that cover basic information about the Earth's hydrosphere. Consult the chapter whenever you need to study these particular topics for upcoming exams, science projects, homework assignments or any other class need.

Intro to Earth's Hydrosphere - Chapter Summary

For a thorough overview of the Earth's hydrosphere, simply work through these engaging video and text-based lessons. Taught by expert science instructors, this chapter helps you quickly refresh your understanding of the Earth's water systems and the hydrologic cycle. You'll also look intriguing facts about different bodies of water around the world. Upon completion of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Outline the entire hydrologic cycle
  • Describe the characteristics of the Earth's oceans, seas, gulfs, lakes and rivers
  • Discuss the geological role of groundwater systems
  • Compare types of glaciers, identify glaciation periods and recognize glacial deposition results
  • Assess the characteristics of shorelines, beaches and estuaries
  • Explain how barrier islands are formed

The chapter is available to study online at any time that fits your schedule. In addition to the lessons, the chapter comes equipped with short self-assessments to help you remember key concepts and definitions. You can print out the lesson transcripts for offline reference, and if you have any questions along the way, simply use the chapter's handy Ask the Expert feature.

11 Lessons in Chapter 24: Intro to Earth's Hydrosphere
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Hydrologic Cycle: Definition, Process & Diagram

1. The Hydrologic Cycle: Definition, Process & Diagram

The hydrologic cycle describes the continuous movement and storage of water on Earth. Explore the definition and process of the hydrologic cycle and the movement of water, such as through runoff and especially the evaporation of water from the oceans, and the storage of water, such as in reservoirs, glaciers, and the atmosphere.

The Earth's Oceans, Seas & Gulfs

2. The Earth's Oceans, Seas & Gulfs

As the Earth's surface is mostly made up of water, the different forms and bodies of it have different categories. Learn more about the bodies of water on the Earth, their characteristics, and locations.

Lakes: Definition & Facts

3. Lakes: Definition & Facts

Lakes are large bodies of water, but there many different types. Discover the characteristics that differentiate lakes from other bodies of water, how lakes form, and the different types of lakes, such as those created by glaciers, craters, and man.

Rivers: Definition & Explanation

4. Rivers: Definition & Explanation

Throughout human history, people have used rivers for transportation and irrigation. Explore the defining characteristics of rivers, how they form, the geographic landforms they create, and examples of famous rivers worldwide.

Groundwater System: Definition & Geological Role

5. Groundwater System: Definition & Geological Role

Groundwater, or the water present beneath the Earth's surface, makes up most of the planet's liquid freshwater stored in underground reservoirs called aquifers. Learn the definition of the groundwater system and explore its geological role in the water cycle.

What Are Glaciers? - Definition, Types & Processes

6. What Are Glaciers? - Definition, Types & Processes

Glaciers are large accumulations of ice that come in various shapes and forms, such as large sheets or blocks. Explore the world of glaciers and learn more about what they are, the various types that exist, and how they move.

Glaciation: Definition, Periods & Causes

7. Glaciation: Definition, Periods & Causes

Glaciation involves the formation and movement of giant sheets of ice called glaciers. Explore the defining characteristics and causes of glaciation and discover periods of glaciation in history.

Glacial Deposition: Definition & Results

8. Glacial Deposition: Definition & Results

Glacial deposition is when sediment and rocks drop from land formations due to glacier movements. Learn more on this, glacial till and moraines, characterize glacial erratics, and describe the appearance of drumlins.

Characteristics of Shorelines & Beaches

9. Characteristics of Shorelines & Beaches

Shorelines and beaches are places where land meets a body of water, such as a lake or ocean. Learn the characteristics of a shoreline and understand the differences between headlands, bays, beaches, longshore drifts, and sandbars.

Barrier Islands: Formation, Shape & Location

10. Barrier Islands: Formation, Shape & Location

Barrier islands are composed of elongated sand structures, parallel to a mainland forming a unique coastal ecosystem. Learn how these formations emerge, how they change over time, and the impact they have on the mainland.

Estuary: Definition, Facts, Characteristics & Examples

11. Estuary: Definition, Facts, Characteristics & Examples

Estuaries are bodies of water partially enclosed by land, but still open to a larger body of water. Identify the environments in which they occur and review examples of characteristics seen in lake and ocean estuaries, as well as the risks that threaten their unique ecosystems.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
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