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Hydrologic Cycle Essay

992 words - 4 pages

Hydrologic Cycle
The hydrologic cycle is the reason our planet is able to sustain the life we have on it. If it were not for this constant cycle of evaporation and condensation of the water from the ocean and waterways to land and back again we would not be able to exist. Water is essential for life on Earth and without it no life would exist such as on the moon. This will examine some of the ways this cycle occurs and also look at a land formation from the eyes of the writer. The wonders of Devils Tower in northeaster Wyoming has been admired by many over the years.
A Look at the Hydrological Cycle
The Hydrologic cycle is an endless cycle where the water on our planet Earth is moving ...view middle of the document...

Lake Berryessa is a manmade lake constructed in 1957 when the Monticello Dam was built on Putah Creek. This lake has an area of a little over 32 square miles of surface area to evaporate water into our atmosphere. This area also has the largest contiguous brackish marsh in the US. Wickland (2014) stated that there are 52,000 acres of managed wetlands (p. 7). All of this water in and around this area contributes a great deal to the hydrologic cycle of this area. The waterways benefit many residents as well with much boating and fishing opportunities year round.
Devils Tower
Standing tall at over 1200 feet, Devils Tower is a unique land formation and has intrigued many over its life. National Geographic (2014) stated that “Devils Tower in Wyoming formed when molten rock intruded into the existing rocks.” In the beginning stages of its existence the formation wasn't visible. Over the course of time erosion of the landscape surrounding it has made this wonder stand tall above ground level. Devils Tower is comprised primarily of phonolite porphyry. Phonolite porphyry is an igneous rock. Lutgens, Tarbuck, & Tasa (2014) stated that molten rock may solidify either beneath the surface or, following a volcanic eruption, at the surface. In either situation, the resulting rocks are called igneous rocks (p. 46). As the magma that formed Devils Tower cooled, it condensed into columns. These striations run vertically and appear as though it was pushed up from the ground. There is no known volcano under Devils Tower and it was not exactly pushed up from the ground. It is believed that Devils Tower was formed some 65 million years ago underground and the natural erosion over millions of years to follow left it standing alone. The molten rock is much harder than the sandstone surrounding it which is why it did not erode at the same rate as the...

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