Related topics: water · drinking water · contaminants

The dynamics of nitrogen-based fertilizers in the root zone

Nutrient contamination of groundwater as a result of nitrogen-based fertilizers is a problem in many places in Europe. Calculations by a team of scientists led by the UFZ have shown that over a period of at least four months ...

New study allows regional prediction of uranium in groundwater

Lurking in sediments and surrounding the precious groundwater beneath our feet is a dangerous toxin: uranium. Scientists have long known this and tested for it. But now Stanford researchers have identified the trigger that ...

Climate change warms groundwater in Bavaria

Groundwater reservoirs in Bavaria have warmed considerably over the past few decades. A new study by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) compares temperatures at 35 measuring stations, taken at ...

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 Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells.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