July 27

Sphere representing all of Earth's water Photo Credit: Howard Perlman, USGS; globe illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Adam Nieman.

Image of the Day

The World's Water Volume

The U.S. Geological Survey put together this artistic representation of the relative volume of Earth's water as compared to that of Earth itself.

The small blue dot covering the midwestern U.S. (roughly 860 miles in diameter) on the globe represents the total volume of all the water below, on, and above the Earth's surface -- including groundwater, the oceans, the ice caps, freshwater, atmospheric water, and water contained in all the flora and fauna of the planet. It adds up to 332,500,000 cubic miles of water.

Of course, while that looks pretty insubstantial when compared to the volume of the Earth itself, the water contained in that blue dot would still cover the contiguous United States to a depth of 107 miles.

Interested in learning more about the Earth's water? Check out these Science NetLinks resources:

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