Water is a very present resource in our lives: we use it not only in our homes and workplaces, but it is also essential for industry and agriculture. Having quality water is important for society and the environment. The set of water on our planet is known as the hydrosphere and it is found in different states in nature: solid, liquid and gaseous or vapor.
So that you know this part of the planet much better, in this Green Ecologist article we will see what is the hydrosphere, with definition and characteristics.
To explain the definition of hydrosphereWe will start with the literal meaning or its etiology. The word "hydrosphere" derives from the lexemes "hydro-", water, and "-sphera", or sphere, of Greek origin. Therefore, the meaning of hydrosphere, in the form of a litter, it is a "water sphere".
The hydrosphere is a part of the biosphere that is defined as the set of waters on the planet. This includes not only surface water in seas and oceans, rivers and lakes, but also groundwater, ice accumulated at the poles and mountain ranges, and water that circulates through the troposphere as vapor.
Now that you know what is the hydrosphere With this simple definition, let's move on to see more interesting points about it, such as its characteristics, origin, composition, distribution and more details.
These are some of the main characteristics of the hydrosphere:
During the earth's formation the materials were in liquid and gaseous states. Specifically, the water that was available was in the form of steam. As the earth's crust cooled, the water in the form of steam was condensing to form large pools of liquid water, and froze to form large expanses of ice. A part remained in the atmosphere.
This is, broadly speaking, how the first water deposits were formed. However, we know that water has undergone great transformations throughout the history of the earth. On the one hand, water is in constant circulation and transformation thanks to the so-called "water cycle". Furthermore, due to different climatic changes, the proportions of ice, liquid water and steam have varied greatly. The dissolution load of salts and other substances have also been modified according to the location and characteristics of the terrain. The area they occupy also varies depending on the dynamics of the earth.
But beyond the physical-chemical and geological transformations, the different living organisms have also supposed a great transformation of the Earth's hydrosphere: from the contribution of organic matter to the transformation of its physical characteristics, as occurs in large forest areas. Special mention to the anthropogenic, that is to say, human action, which has led to such dramatic transformations as the channeling of water, its purification or pollution (the latter pre-eminent) and, ultimately, its physical state due to recent climate change.
As a conclusion, we can say that the water condensed during the cooling of the earth's crust, and it has been in constant transformation since then.
In summary, the hydrosphere composition is the next:
The hydrosphere is made up of a total of approximately 1.4 billion km3 of water. This amount of water is distributed on Earth thus:
Learn more about the Distribution of water in the world with this other post.
The water cycle It is made up of several phases:
We explain more about what the water cycle is in this other post by Green Ecologist.
The hydrosphere can be contaminated by many different components such as:
Each of these elements generates a particular problem that adds to the hydrosphere or water contamination and that must be studied carefully. However, they all contribute to the global deterioration of the hydrosphere, with harmful effects on ecosystems and people's health.
In this other Green Ecologist article we explain everything about Water Pollution: what it is, causes, consequences and solutions, among more data. In addition, here below we leave two videos from our YouTube channel, one about water pollution and the other about the hydrosphere. We hope you like them and find them useful!
If you want to read more articles similar to What is the hydrosphere: definition and characteristics, we recommend that you enter our category of Curiosities of the Earth and the universe.