Biogeochemical Cycles By: Karsyn Rape

Water Cycle

The Process of water being transferred between the: oceans, land and the atmosphere

1st Process: Precipitation

Process where condensed water falls from clouds to the Earth's surface

2nd Process: Evaporation

Water molecules that are in a liquid form escape into the air, and change in state to water vapor

3rd Process: Condensation

Molecules of water vapor in the air change in state to become liquid water

4th Process: Transpiration

Water that is released into the atmosphere from plants, trees and leaves

Surface Run Off

Rain, water, snow or any other form of liquid moving over land


When a state of matter turns from a solid to a gaseous form skipping the liquid form


When a state of matter turns from gaseous form into a solid form


When water travels downward into the soil or rocks.

Groundwater Flow

Water that has made its way into the ground, and has escaped into a rive, or stream. Usually stored within layers of soil

Chemical reactions Involved: Depends on temperature on how the water will either precipitate, condense, evaporate, or transpire.

Impact of Humans: Pollution to water, and consumption of water can lead to unnatural decrease in water supply

Organic and Inorganic Compounds: Organic: Soil from animal decay and decayed plant roots, Carbon from sedimentary rocks, Microorganism from left over soil being pushed into water. Inorganic: Chloride (salty water), Sulfate, Fluoride.

Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen Fixation

N2 Converted into NH+4 and is the only way animals can obtain nitrogen


Oxidized forms of nitrogen converted into denitrification (N2) which is a dulled down form of nitrous oxide gas


In this process, bacteria gain energy , and ammonium decomposes into nitrate. Only found in oxygen rich environment

Nitrogen Mineralization

Organic nitrogen converted back into inorganic nitrogen

Nitrogen Uptake

Taken up by plants and turn into proteins like DNA

How Humans Have Impacted the Nitrogen Cycle

By burning fossil fuels, using synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, and by cultivating legumes

Chemical Reactions Involved

Nitrogen Fixation: N2 to NH+4

Denitrification: NO-3 to NO-2 to NO to N2O to N2

Nitrogen Uptake: NH+4 to Organic Nitrogen

Organic and Inorganic Compounds:

Organic: Amino Acids, Proteins, organisms, bacteria

Inorganic: Water, Nitrogen gas, oxygen

Carbon Cycle

Carbon Fixation

carbon dioxide is converted by Plants and algae into organic carbon matter.


The process where carbon moves from the atmosphere to plants, and then from plants to animals


Where carbon moves from plants and animals to the Earth


Where carbon moves from living things to the atmosphere

Organic Carbon

Produced by plants

Fossil Fuels

Created by carbon being under soil

Organic and Inorganic Compositions:

Organic: Fossil Fuels (methane), oil, coal, wood, paper, plastic

Chemical Reactions:

Photosynthesis created by algae, pytoplankton and leaves giving off energy

converted into proteins, fats, starches, DNA and RNA


Created by the ignition of heat between carbon and a flammable object

Impact of Humans

Sea level rising, Artict Ice melting, ecosystems changing, extreme droughts, etc.

Phosphorous Cycle

Soil Based: Goes into soil then plants

Global: moves from land to sediments into the sea then back to land where it begins to be stored into the crust


Weathers sedimentary rocks in which releases phosphorous ions

Absorbtion from soil

Plants then soak up the phosphates from the soil

Intake from Omnivores

omnivores eat the plants or animals that ate the plants

Phosphates in solution

Phosphates in soil migrate into water causing a solution

Uplifting of Rock

Where new rock forms on the bottom the old rocks rise


Occurs when the bacteria breaks down organic matter and turns it into inorganic matter

What do Phosphates do and what is its difference compared to other cycles?

Holds DNA and RNA together, and it has no gas phase

Chemical Reactions

A bacteria that occurs in the soil after the weathering of rocks, changes the phosphorous ions to phosphate

Organic and Inorganic Compounds

Organic: Plants, animals, DNA, decay, bacteria

Inorganic: Soil, water, PH(Less than 4 or higher than 8 can make it extremely difficult to be absorbed by plants), Adsorption (can become chemically bonded to soil making it unavailable to plants).

How humans affect:

Cultivating rain forests and the use of fertilizers


Created with images by James St. John - "Storr's Lake (San Salvador Island, Bahamas) 1" • sfbaywalk - "Nitrogen cycle rules!" • fdecomite - "Carbon" • tpsdave - "oregon beach sand rocks"

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