Visualizing the Water on Earth

[click to enlarge] Source: USGS

This is an excellent visual of our earth, with all its water sucked out of the lakes and oceans. This is what the earth would look like dry. The water is collected in one large sphere visible over the Western United States. This illustrates how thin a layer our oceans actually are.

The largest blue sphere over the western United States represents all of Earth’s water. Its diameter is about 860 miles and its volume is about 332 million cubic miles.

The smaller  sphere over Kentucky, that looks like a pin, is all the fresh water on Earth. 99% of that is ground water, which we cannot directly access. The sphere has a diameter of 169 miles and a volume of 2.5 million cubic miles.

The tiny blue dot over Atlanta represents the fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet. Those are really our accessible water resources. It’s what we can drink and use to flush our toilets and water our crops. This sphere is only 35 miles in diameter and has 22 thousand cubic miles of water.

Check out this resourceful USGS article for more details.


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