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GLGL - Groundwater
Terms in this set (16)
What is groundwater?
Water located in the 'saturated zone'
- occupies the spaces between the grains
(pores) in the bedrock.
Is ground water a main pool of water on earth?
Ground water is the second smallest of the four main pools of water on Earth (surface water is the smallest)
What percent of unfrozen fresh water does groundwater account for?
Groundwater accounts for ~ 96% of the unfrozen fresh water in the world
What is the Zone of Aeration/ Vadose Zone
The area underground where pore spaces can still
What is the Zone of Saturation / Phreatic Zone
- The area underground where pore spaces are completely filled with water (saturated with water)
What is the water table?
- The upper surface of the Zone of Saturation
What is Porosity
- The empty space between grains
- Determines the volume of water that the material will hold
- Sediments that are well sorted and have rounded grains have a higher porosity
What is Permeability
- A material's ability to transmit water
- Determined by the porosity and the connections between the grains
What is an Aquifer
- Rock or deposits capable of supplying usable quantities of water - High porosity and high permeability
• Sandstone or limestone
What is a Confining Bed
- Rock or deposits NOT capable of supplying usable quantities of water - Impermeable bedrock
• Clay, mudstone, shale • Dense igneous and metamorphic rock
What is an unconfined aquifer?
An aquifer that is not surrounded by confining beds
What is a Hydraulic gradient
- The slope of the water table surface
What is Karst Topography
A special type of topography that is formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks
- Rainwater is naturally slightly acidic - Dissolves carbonate minerals (such as calcite)
EX) caves, sinkholes, springs, disappearing streams
What is a cone of depression?
- A cone-shaped depression in the water table
- Caused by withdrawing water faster than it can be replenished
What is a Land Subsidence Hazards
Removal of groundwater
- Areas where the water was helping to keep the pores open can collapse
- lowers the water pressure, causing the aquifer and the ground to compact
• Can be restored by replenishing the aquifer
- However, once the confining beds are compacted they will not return to their earlier
What is an artesian well?
An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached.
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