Vocabulary

Cover-Rivers Rock

This month's vocabulary has some challenge words you may find helpful with extensions in this topic area.

Aquatic: Growing, living in, or frequenting water
Context: All frog eggs and larvae are aquatic, but some adult frogs can live most of their lives away from the water.

Condensation: the change from gas to liquid
Context: Condensation occurs when water vapor in the sky becomes clouds.

Evaporation: the change from liquid to gas
Context: Evaporation from the surface of the oceans, lakes and streams transforms surface water to atmospheric water vapor.

Groundwater: water found under Earth’s surface between saturated soil and rock supplying wells and springs.
Context: Groundwater is replenished through recharge zones where the surface of the earth is cracked or porous enough for the surface water and precipitation to seep through.

Channel: the deep main part of a river
Context: The current is fast in the main channel.

Current: flow of the water
Context: What fun when your inner-tube gets swept along in the current!

Estuary: where the river meets the sea, gulf or ocean mixing fresh and salt water
Context: The mixture of fresh and salty water in an estuary creates a special habitat.

Floodplain: flat area of land where streams spill over
Context: Floodplains with their flat rich soil are great places to grow crops.

Headwater: where a river begins
Context: The headwaters of many of the rivers in Texas are on the Edwards Plateau.

Marine: Growing, living in, or frequenting salt water
Context: Sea turtles are marine animals.

Marsh: low-lying grassy land that often is wet or flooded
Context: An inland marsh will be a freshwater environment, but one along the coast may be a salt marsh.

Oxbow lake: bend in the river cut off from the main channel
Context: Oxbow lakes are great places to listen for frogs.

Point Bar:  ridge of sand or gravel along the inside curve of a stream
Context: I like to stand on the point bar and skip rocks across the creek.

Pool: deep areas with slow current
Context: Sunfish are more likely to be found in a pool than in a riffle.

Precipitation: water from the atmosphere that reaches the ground in solid or liquid form.
Context: Rain, sleet, snow and hail are forms of precipitation that return water from the atmosphere to the Earth.

Rapids: fast, turbulent water
Context: Kayaking through the rapids is a bumpy ride.

Riffle:  shallow fast-moving water
Context: I love the sparkly splashing of the water over pebbles in the riffles.

Riparian: located or relating to the banks of a stream, river, or other body of water.
Context: Raccoons take advantage of riparian habitat.

Run: smooth flowing, not too deep areas of a stream
Context: Our canoe floats easily in the run.

Runoff: water that flows off the surface of the land
Context: Runoff from the rain fills the creek.

Surface water: water found on the surface of the earth in ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans.
Context: Surface water is used for recreation as well as drinking water and industry.

Tributaries: smaller creeks and streams that flow into a larger river
Context: Onion creek is a tributary of the Colorado River; it flows in just downstream of Austin.

Turbulent: stirred up, agitated
Context: The creek is turbulent where it tumbles down around the boulders.

Watershed: the area of land that drains into one body of water
Context: No matter where in the watershed the oil is dumped, it washes down into the same river.


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