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A hydrosphere (from Greek ύδωρ - hydor, 'water' + σφαίρα - sphaira, 'sphere') in physical geography describes the combined mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet.

The total mass of the Earth's hydrosphere is about 1.4 × 1024 grams, which is about 0.023% of the Earth's total mass. About 2 × 1019 grams of this is in the Earth's atmosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface, an area of some 361 million square kilometers (139.5 million square miles), is covered by ocean.

Other hydrospheresEdit

A thick hydrosphere is thought to exist around the Jovian moon Europa. The outer layer of this hydrosphere is almost entirely hot, but current models predict that there is an ocean up to 100 km in depth underneath the ice. This ocean remains in a liquid form because of tidal flexing of the moon in its orbit around Jupiter. The volume of Europa's hydrosphere is 3 × 1018 m3, 2.3 times that of Earth.

It has been suggested that the Jovian moon Ganymede and the Saturnian moon Enceladus may also possess sub-surface oceans. However the ice covering is expected to be thicker on Jupiter's Ganymede than on Europa.

Hydrological cycle

The sun provides the energy necessary to cause evaporation from all wet surfaces including oceans rivers lakes soil and the leaves of plants.Water vapour is further released as transpiration from vegetation and from animals and humans

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