Lecture - 15 Groundwater - Groundwater Water Beneath the...

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Groundwater
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Water Beneath the Surface (Groundwater) Largest freshwater reservoir for humans Geological roles As an erosional agent, dissolving by ground- water produces Sinkholes Caverns An equalizer of stream flow
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The model Excess water on the surface sinks down through the zone of aeration to the water table, the top of the zone of saturation. The Zone of Aeration also called the vadose or unsaturated zone. Space occupied by air and water. Water in zone of saturation (also known as Phreatic zone) is groundwater Infiltration -rain water soaks into the belt of soil moisture.
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Distribution of groundwater Belt of soil moisture Zone of aeration Unsaturated zone Pore spaces in the material are filled mainly with air Zone of saturation All 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 Distribution and Movement of Groundwater
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Ground water acts as a buffer for stream runoff, storing rainfall and releasing it slowly at Springs or by underground seepage into lakes, Aquifer – a permeable layer of material Confined Aquifer – sandwiched between impermeable layers  The water table mimics the topography (except at perched water tables above an aquitard, or aquiclude), and can fluctuate in droughts.
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The Water Table
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Perched Water Table impermeable rock water trapped in pore space
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Distribution of Groundwater Porosity Percentage of pore spaces Determines how much groundwater can be stored Permeability Ability to transmit water through connected pore spaces Aquitard – an impermeable layer of material Aquifer – a permeable layer of material
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Permeability depends on: Grain size and packing  Coarser-grained sediments are more permeable than 
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2012 for the course EAS 2600 taught by Professor Ingalls during the Fall '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Lecture - 15 Groundwater - Groundwater Water Beneath the...

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