38 terms

Water

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Infiltration
(also called percolation)
only happens when the ground is permeable
Water penetrates the surface of the earth and leaches into the ground
Permeable
water can pass through
*sedimentary rock
*sand & silt
*loam
*compost / humus
Impermeable
water cannot pass through
*igneous & metamorphic rock
*bedrock layer
*clay
*asphalt / concrete
Porosity
amount of water that can be stored in the pore spaces
Permeability
ability of water to flow through connected pore spaces
Groundwater
water stored underground
Zone of aeration
Unsaturated zone
Pore spaces in the material are filled mainly with air
Zone of saturation
(also called an Aquifer)
Pore spaces in the material are filled with water
Water within the pores is groundwater
Water table
the upper limit of the zone of saturation
*water table can move up when it rains or down during a drought
Aquitard
an impermeable layer of material
unconfined
water rests on an impermeable layer; ground above it is permeable; can be refilled from rainwater that infiltrates
*regular well (water needs to be drawn or pumped out)
confined
water trapped between 2 impermeable layers; water becomes pressurized; cannot be refilled from rainwater infiltration
*Artesian well (water rises under its own pressure)
Well
hole drilled into the zone of saturation
Artesian Well
well drilled into a confined aquifer; rises under its own pressure
Spring
groundwater that emerges naturally from the surface
when the water table intersects with the surface of Earth
Subsidence
sinking of the ground level caused by lowering of the water table
occurs if water is used faster than it is replenished
Creates depressions or sinkholes
Cone of depression
lowering of the water table around a well due to large amounts of water being pumped out
Contamination
state of something that is considered impure, unclean, or unhealthy
Septic Tank
underground storage of sewage
Landfill
underground storage for garbage
Leachate
groundwater that leaks out of a septic tank or landfill, "Garbage Juice"
Point Source Pollution
contaminants have an identifiable source
-Smokestack from a single factory
-Car that is leaking lots of gas or oil
-Repair garage that dumps old oil
-Household that dumps chemicals
-Factory with a leaking chemical tank
Nonpoint Source Pollution
contaminant source cannot be found
-Acid Rain
-Runoff from farmlands
(contains fertilizers & animal manure)
-Runoff from parking lots
(contains oil & gasoline)
-Runoff from city streets
(contains highways salts & oil)
-Runoff from construction sites
(contains sediment pollution)
Flow downhill
contaminants leaked into the ground at the top of a hill will flow downhill
Rainwater runoff
runs through the contaminant, absorbs it, and transfers it to another area
Infiltration/Percolation
if water travels slowly through permeable sediment, the water is purified
healthy stream
has lots of living things, especially macro(large) invertebrates (animals without backbones)
buffer zone
plants/vegetation around the banks of rivers to absorb & slow runoff water
river delta
triangle shaped, where a river slows before it enters a large body of water, high deposition
estuary
ecosystem where fresh water mixes with salt water
turbidity
measure of how clear water is; high turbidity is a sign of an unhealthy stream
stormwater
runoff from impermeable urban areas such as rooftops, roads, & parking lots
wastewater
sewage or any other water used and considered unhealthy
River basin (watershed)
entire land area that drains into streams that flow into one large river
Divide
imaginary line at high elevation points that separates river basins from each other
Tributaries
small streams that flow into larger streams & rivers
Wetlands
Land covered by water all or part of the year
3 functions of Wetlands:
1. Provide flood protection during storms
2. Filter pollution & urban runoff
3. Habitat for many animals