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Lesson 8: Forest Watersheds

Buffer: a wide strip of vegetation along a body of water, retained for the purpose of protecting water quality and aquatic habitat.

Condensation: the process of water vapor in the atmosphere turning into liquid water forming clouds.

Erosion: the natural process by which Earth’s surface is worn away by the forces of wind and water—water running downhill is the primary agent in shaping topography.

Evaporation: the process of liquid water turning into water vapor from water and land surfaces.

Groundwater: water that is stored beneath the surface of the land, in spaces between rocks and soil particles—this water oft en supplies wells or springs.

Infiltration: the process by which water from the ground surface enters the soil.

Precipitation: occurs when so much water has condensed that the air can’t hold it anymore and it falls back to Earth as rain, snow, sleet, hail, frost, dew, etc.

Riparian Area: the area next to a river or stream inhabited by plants and animals that requires constant moisture.

Runoff: water that does not infiltrate the soil, but runs off the surface of the land.

Spring: the point where groundwater flows out of the ground.

Topographic Map: a map showing changes in elevation, land features, etc.

Transpiration: the process of water that has been taken up by plants, evaporating from the leaves of plants.

Watershed: an area of land where water and sediments drain into a common stream, lake or bay.