What is surface water?

1 Answer
Aug 31, 2015

Surface water is all water on the surface of the planet.


Oceans, streams, lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water found on the Earth's surface are considered surface water. This is in contrast to groundwater, which is found beneath the surface of the earth. Atmospheric water also exists. This includes water vapor in the air, such as clouds.

In the image below, the ditch, the sea, and the stream are all examples of surface water. The soil/rock below is saturated with water, specifically ground water.


Surface water is replenished through groundwater and precipitation. To learn more about the water cycle, click here .