Definition of the Hydrosphere: Types, Elements and Cycles

Definition of the Hydrosphere – The hydrosphere is the layer of water that is on the surface of the earth. The word hydrosphere comes from the English word hydrosphere; hydro means water and sphere means circle or sphere. So, the hydrosphere is the layer of water that covers the earth. The hydrosphere on the surface of the earth includes lakes, rivers, seas, oceans, snow or glaciers, groundwater and water vapor contained in the air layer. Check out the complete explanation about the Hydrosphere below:

Definition of Hydrosphere

The hydrosphere is a layer of water that covers the earth’s crust because it is in liquid form, the hydrosphere comes from the word hydro which means water and shaaire which means layer. The surface of the earth that is covered by water, the layer that covers the surface of the earth is called the hydrosphere. Thus it can or can also be said that the hydrosphere is the layer of water that is the main source of life for humans. The hydrosphere is the name for the water that is on the surface of the Earth in the form of seas or oceans as well as water on land. This hydrosphere has several branches of scientists are as follows: 

  • Potamology, this is the science that studies the water that flows on the surface of the earth and rivers. Limnology, this is the science that studies the water that stagnates on the surface of the earth and lakes. 
  • Geohydrology, this is the study of water found under the earth and soil. Cryology is the science that studies snow and ice. Hydrometeorology, this is the study of meteorological factors.

Learn more about the structure of the earth’s layers including the existing hydrosphere through the Smart Encyclopedia: Our Earth which also explains various other important information for Readers to know about our earth.

Types of Surface Water in the Hydrosphere

The various types of surface water that are included in the hydrosphere include:

1. River Waters

The waters of this river are fresh water which always flows at a point whose source goes to the estuary in the sea so that river water is larger which comes from runoff from ground springs. In general, river water can or can reach more, because it is called creek and wadi.

2. Sea Waters

This sea water is salty water that originates from the earth’s surface which is in salty waters, this covers all the water that is in the sea. Is the area of ​​the earth’s surface that is covered by the presence of salt water. Has several roles as a provider of water in the world and is also a major element in the process of the hydrological cycle. Examples are like: coast and beach.

a. coast

The coast is the surface of the earth that lies between the high and low tides and is also part of the area that forms the boundary between the sea and the land. These coasts can or can be classified as follows:

  • The mainland coast (coastal plain) is a coastal area that has undergone a lifting process that was originally under the sea.
  • Coastal alluvial plain (coastal alluvial plain) , namely the coast formed by the deposition of alluvium originating from the mainland which is characterized by the shape of a gentle slope
  • Coastal barrier islands (barrier island coastal) , namely the coast with shallow offshore waters that are broad and separated from the ocean by barrier islands.

b. Beach

This beach is the land border with the sea which seems to form a coastline, this consists of sand and is located in the coastal area of ​​the sea.

Several types of beaches that can be found:

  • Sloping beach, a beach whose shape is almost flat with sea level. Steep beach, a beach whose shape is steep is caused by mountains with steep slopes that stretch along the coast facing and bordering the sea.
  • Coral beach, a beach formed as a result of erosion caused by ocean currents
  • Mangrove beaches, beaches covered by mangrove forests, are abundant in the tropics and have a lot of mud, and are also often flooded, especially at high tide.


3. Inland Waters

This inland water hydrosphere is fresh water that comes from shallow soil from the surface of the earth and also various waters found in rivers or lakes. Is the entire body of water that occurs and is on land. Types of inland waters include:

a. River

Rivers Formed from rainwater that falls to the surface of the ground are mostly surface runoff. This surface runoff flows to this lower place leading to ditches, ditches, and creeks. The river flows with different slopes. In the upstream area, the river is steeper, while in the downstream area the river is flat and more winding.

Lake A broad basin on the surface of the earth filled with water and formed as a result of tectonic or volcanic processes. Lake water can come from river water, ground water, rain water or springs that empty into the basin.

Based on the process of occurrence, this lake is divided into two, namely natural lakes and artificial lakes. Groundwater is water that is in the saturated area below the ground surface. 97% of fresh water consists of groundwater. This groundwater can or can be found under very dry deserts or also under the ground which is covered by a layer of snow.

Swamps are wet lands that are often flooded with water due to their relatively low location. This swamp is usually overgrown with soft stems or grasses. There are two types of swamps, namely swamps in inland areas which contain fresh water and swamps caused by high tides and also low tides which contain salt water.

Learn about the layers of the earth that exist through story books with interesting science content that can be accessed via smartphones. You can get the Smart Science Book Series: Layers of Earth and Fossils – Alpha & Mega Travel to Earth only at Gramedia!

Elements of the Hydrosphere

Earth is a planet in the solar system, as well as the only planet that can be inhabited by humans. besides that, the Earth is also the only planet that has the most water content.

The surface of planet Earth is covered by two surface forms, namely land and water. The land is in the form of islands as well as continents, while the waters are in the form of oceans, various seas, and also waters on the mainland such as lakes (read: various lakes), rivers, and so on.

Readers can find discussions about the layers of the hydrosphere, and much more in the Super Fun Encyclopedia: Hello, Earth! by Hemma.


The surface in the form of water can also be in the form of ice (read: hail) or snow, this depends on each weather (read: division of seasons in Indonesia). All of the Earth’s surface in the form of water is known as the hydrosphere. So we call the seas, oceans, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and so on (which are waters) as the hydrosphere. The hydrosphere makes up much of the Earth’s surface.

Even if we compare between waters and land, Earth is more dominated by waters. That’s why the Earth is dominated by blue than other colors. The waters that exist on this Earth are purely in the form of oceans or seas, as well as in the form of waters that are located on land. on this occasion we will talk about the hydrosphere, so that later we will know more and understand more about what the hydrosphere is and what things we need to know. oceans and water on land. The elements contained in the hydrosphere are divided into:

  1. The element of wind is a source that determines the strength of the temperature of the air or also the condition of water vapor in a place.
  2. The cloud element is a collection of several water or ice point sources in large quantities or is also part of the ground condensation core.
  3. The element of Water and Land is a movement of water in the ground so that it has several layers of sandstone sources with aquifer layers.
  4. Evaporation element is an element that originates from an event or events from the change of water into ground surface vapor.
  5. Condensation Element is a process of changing water vapor to make the atmosphere cool.
  6. The Precipitation Element is a form of liquid that is sourced from the atmosphere to the earth’s surface.
  7. The run-off element is a movement of water that seeps into the ground in certain places
  8. The element of the body of water is the part of water that can come from various sources, such as rivers, swamps, lakes, reservoirs, and so on.

Kinds of Hydrofer Cycle

To recognize something, everything will start from understanding that thing. The meaning of the hydrosphere is the layer of water that is on the surface of the Earth.

The word hydrosphere itself comes from the word “hidros” which means water and “sphere” which means layer. The hydrosphere on the surface of the Earth includes seas or oceans, lakes, rivers (read: the benefits of rivers), snow, glaciers, groundwater and even water vapor contained in the air layer.

It is undeniable that the role of the hydrosphere is very important. This is because humans cannot live without water. And did you know that the amount of water on Earth is actually stable? Yes, the amount of water seems to change or if we think about why the water used in everyday life does not run out, this is because water experiences a cycle or recycling.

Earth as a place where we live has many interesting things that you can learn such as types of animals, plants, big cities, and many more which are discussed in the book Junior Encyclopedia: Our Earth.

So we need to know that the hydrosphere layer that covers the Earth is experiencing a cycle or rotation. The cycle or rotation of the hydrosphere is called the hydrologic cycle. The various types of the hydrological cycle are as follows:

1. Short Hydrological Cycle

The first type of cycle or hydrological cycle is the short water cycle. The short water cycle is a process of water circulation with a relatively short period of time. This short cycle process usually occurs in the sea. The process of this short cycle occurs because seawater has evaporated (caused by sunlight). The short water cycle process is briefly described as follows:

  • Sea water undergoes evaporation or evaporation because of the heat from the sun.
  • Water vapor from evaporation or evaporation rises up to a certain height.
  • The water vapor above will condense to form clouds (read: the process of clouds).
  • The clouds that are formed will get bigger and bigger, so they fall as rain on the sea water.
  • This falling water will return to sea water which will evaporate or evaporate again.


2. Moderate Hydrological Cycle

After there is a short hydrological cycle or cycle, then there is a medium hydrological cycle or cycle. This moderate hydrologic cycle or cycle is a cycle that occurs because seawater evaporates or evaporates into the atmosphere (read: the atmospheric layer), in the form of water vapor due to the sun’s heat. In general, the hydrological cycle or recycling process is described as follows:

  • Sea water evaporates or evaporates into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor due to heating from the sun.
  • The wind that blows will carry this water vapor towards the mainland.
  • When it reaches a certain height, more and more water vapor from the evaporation of sea, river and lake water will gather in the air.
  • One day, the gathered water vapor will experience saturation and experience condensation, and then it will become rain.
  • Rainwater that falls on this land will then flow into ditches, ditches, rivers, lakes and into the sea again.

3. Long Hydrological Cycle

We have known the explanation and also the stages of short and medium cycles or cycles. Then there is the long hydrological cycle or cycle. Same with short and medium cycles, this long cycle also begins due to evaporation or evaporation from seawater due to heat or irradiation by the sun. The process or stages of this long cycle or cycle will be explained as follows:

  • The sun’s heat that illuminates the Earth will cause seawater and also surfaces in the form of water to experience evaporation in the form of water vapor.
  • The wind that blows will carry the water vapor towards the land and join together with water vapor from lakes, rivers and other bodies of water, as well as the results of transpiration from plants.
  • This water vapor will turn into clouds and fall as precipitation or rain.
  • Rainwater that falls, some will seep into the ground or infiltrate into groundwater. This infiltration process is sometimes not in the form of rain, but in the form of snow or ice.
  • Some of this rainwater is absorbed by plants, and some will flow to the ground surface into ditches, ditches, rivers, lakes and will then empty into the sea. This groundwater flow is called percolation, and will end up going to the sea. Groundwater can also surface to form springs. That is a series of processes or stages of this long hydrological cycle or cycle. The long cycle is the cycle that lasts the longest and is also the most complete process.

Members of the Hydrosphere The hydrosphere is the designation for water that is on the surface of the Earth, whether in the form of seas or oceans or water on land. The various types of surface water that are included in the hydrosphere will be explained below, including:

  • Waters that exist on land, including: Ground water, namely water that comes from snow, rain or other forms of rainfall that seeps into the ground and is accommodated in a waterproof layer. Surface water is the container of water that is on the surface of the Earth. Surface water includes rivers, lakes and swamps.
  • Sea or ocean waters. This sea or ocean water is all the water that is in the seas or oceans, which is water that contains salt or salty water.
  • Glaciers, ice and snow. The hydrosphere is not always water, but can also be glaciers, ice or snow.

Those are some of the meanings and elements of the hydrosphere that exist on Earth and its various kinds. And the description above has also explained about the hydrosphere. Hopefully this article is useful.