Related topics: water · drinking water · contaminants

Mapping groundwater's influence on the world's oceans

Researchers at The Ohio State University have created high-resolution maps of points around the globe where groundwater meets the oceans—the first such analysis of its kind, giving important data points to communities and ...

Researchers examine the age of groundwater in Egyptian aquifers

Most of the water used by people in Egypt comes from the Nile River, which originates from precipitation over mountainous areas in the Ethiopian highlands. In areas far from the Nile River Valley, however, where water is ...

Tapping fresh water under the ocean has consequences

The last place most people would expect to find fresh groundwater is tens to hundreds of kilometers offshore in the ocean. Yet not only is that exactly where freshwater can be found, in the ground of the continental shelf ...

Where can flooded fields help replenish groundwater?

In California, the amount of water exiting aquifers under the state's most productive farming region far surpasses the amount of water trickling back in. That rampant overdraft has caused land across much of the region to ...

New evidence of deep groundwater on Mars

In mid-2018, researchers supported by the Italian Space Agency detected the presence of a deep-water lake on Mars under its south polar ice caps. Now, researchers at the USC Arid Climate and Water Research Center (AWARE) ...

Cryptosporidium parasite detected in Minnesota groundwater

When consumed in contaminated water, the microscopic parasite Cryptosporidium can cause symptoms of stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever. Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology have ...

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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 Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells.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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