Related topics: water · drinking water · contaminants

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 ...

Floodplain forests under threat

A team from the Institute of Forest Sciences at the University of Freiburg shows that the extraction of ground water for industry and households is increasingly damaging floodplain forests in Europe given the increasing intensity ...

How we can 'bank' water underground for use later on

Groundwater has often been seen as the underground resource that never runs out. This "out of sight out of mind" attitude means wells and boreholes are indiscriminately sunk and that groundwater is abused by the public and ...

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 Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells.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