Related topics: water · drinking water · contaminants

Scientists co-author Edwards Aquifer memoir

Three Southwest Research Institute scientists contributed their groundwater management expertise to a new book about the Edwards Aquifer, the primary water source for the San Antonio area and surrounding communities. The ...

Active pharmaceutical ingredients can persist in the environment

Homeowners who rely on private wells as their drinking water source can be vulnerable to bacteria, nitrates, and other contaminants that have known human health risks. Because they are not connected to a public drinking water ...

Ice-squeezed aquifers might create marsquakes

As the Mars InSight lander begins listening to the interior of Mars, some scientists are already proposing that some marsquakes could be signals of groundwater beneath the frozen surface of the Red Planet.

A cheap, accurate method for exploring groundwater

Water is a vital resource for people and the environment. One of the most important sources is groundwater which is renewed from precipitation or surface water. Population growth as well as agriculture and industry strongly ...

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Groundwater

Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock become completely saturated with water is called the water table. Groundwater is recharged from, and eventually flows to, the surface naturally; natural discharge often occurs at springs and seeps, and can form oases or wetlands. Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, also called groundwater hydrology.

Typically, groundwater is thought of as liquid water flowing through shallow aquifers, but technically it can also include soil moisture, permafrost (frozen soil), immobile water in very low permeability bedrock, and deep geothermal or oil formation water. Groundwater is hypothesized to provide lubrication that can possibly influence the movement of faults. It is likely that much of the Earth's subsurface contains some water, which may be mixed with other fluids in some instances. Groundwater may not be confined only to the Earth. The formation of some of the landforms observed on Mars may have been influenced by groundwater. There is also evidence that liquid water may also exist in the subsurface of Jupiter's moon Europa.

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