All about groundwater!!!

What is groundwater and what processes make water groundwater?

Groundwater is water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock.

  • The process of groundwater: Water soaking into the ground and being held/stored in aquifer.

(The picture to the right is showing water sinking into an aquifer and then being pumped out by a well.)

Porosity VS. Permeability and how this affects the presence of groundwater?

  • Porosity- A measure of how much of a rock is open space. For example sand and rocks/gravel. Sand has little space and rock has a lot of open space for water to move through.
  • Permeability- The ability of a substance to allow another substance to pass through it. For example: When water is going through sand it takes longer than it would going through rocks/gravel.

When there's an aquifer under tons of sand it takes longer to refill when humans are sucking the water out to fast. When it floods the ground soaks it up faster when there's rocks/gravel under the soil.

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(The picture above is showing a whole diagram of water sinking into an aquifer and then being pumped out by wells.)

Here's a few extra words to know!

  • Zone of Aeration- Region in the ground in which pore spaces are filled with air, and sometimes water.
  • Zone of Saturation- The area beneath the water table where all pore spaces are completely filled with water.
  • Water table- The level below which the ground is saturated with water.
  • Aquiclude- An impermeable body of rock or stratum of sediment that acts as a barrier to the flow of groundwater.
  • Aquifer- A body of permeable rock that can contain or transmit groundwater.

Types of Aquifers:

There are two types of aquifers: Confined and Unconfined.

  • Confined aquifers-Impermeable dirt/rock layer exists that prevents water from seeping into the aquifer from the ground surface located directly above. Instead, water seeps into confined aquifers from farther away where the impermeable layered doesn't exist.
  • Unconfined aquifers-Water seeps from the ground directly above the aquifer.

When there's a lot of rain and flooding occurs unconfined aquifers will help faster by soaking up some of the water other than confined aquifers which would take a long time to soak up some water.

(The picture to the right is showing two different types of aquifers, confined and unconfined.)

What are the main ways that we pollute groundwater in the United States?

Tons of everyday activities cause pollution. A simple drive down the road puts car exhaust into our air we breathe. The garbage we throw on the ground pollutes our water and soil. Factories are a big factor to pollution, they pollute our air and water.

With groundwater being used more and more, it's not recharging fast enough to keep up. Water prices everywhere will go up with water being more precious. Fruits and Vegie prices will go up too due to it being more expensive to grow them. Ecosystem's could start disappearing when a aquifer dries up and that was the source of water for most of the life there.

What Is Groundwater?
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(The picture is of The United States aquifers. The yellow is the least amount of water in the aquifer and the bright blue is the most water. In the middle of the United States, our biggest aquifer is located there.)
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(Above is a picture of U.S droughts in 2015. California had the largest drought throughout the U.S. With the drought more ground water was being used instead of surface water.)