Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The Natural Water Cycle (JPG)

Detailed Description

The Natural Water Cycle

Earth's water is always in movement, and the natural water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. Water is always changing states between liquid, vapor, and ice, with these processes happening in the blink of an eye and over millions of years.

This diagram is a small part of USGS's Water Science School, where anyone of any age can learn all about water. It is also available in PDF format at


Public Domain.