Earth and Environmental Systems
What is the largest reservoir of fresh water and what is the largest reservoir of useable fresh water?
Glacial Ice
Largest usable reservoir: groundwater
Know the definitions of the following terms: groundwater, porosity, permeability, zone of aeration, water table, zone of saturation, infiltration, aquifer, aquiclude.
Groundwater: water in the zone of saturation
Porosity: the space between solid particles of soil or rock that can be filled by fluids
Permeability: the ease with which fluids can pas through a body of soil or rock
Zone of Aeration: above the zone of saturation
Water Table: separates zones
Zone of Saturation: where the groundwater is
Infiltration: movement of water from the surface to the ground
Aquifer: a body of soil or rock that can hold a useable amount of water
Aquiclude:a body of soil that blocks the flow of water
Know how groundwater flows around a stream.
Base Flow
Know the difference between zones of recharge and discharge, and similarly the difference between gaining streams and loosing streams.
Recharge: water goes from surface to ground
Discharge: ground to surface
Know Darcy’s law.
Q=KIA
discharge = permeability times hydraulic gradient times cross sectional area the groundwater is passing through
Know how you can get a perched water table, artesian well, or spring.
Perched water table created by an aquiclude lens overlying the main water table.
Artesian well flows w/o pumping, created by drilling into a confined aquifer whose pressure head is above surface.
Spring created by a perched water table intersecting the surface.
Know the difference between a confined and an unconfined aquifer.
Confined: rock below and above (safer)
Unconfined: surface
Know the term for the shape that forms around an actively pumping well.
Cone of Depression
Know what is happening to the Ogallala aquifer.
Water table draw down, 10ft/decade
If all pumping on the Ogallala aquifer was stopped today, how long would it take for the water table to rebound to pre-pumping levels?
2000 years
Besides water table drawdown, what other problems can overpumping an aquifer cause?
Saltwater intrusion
Know the major sources of groundwater contamination.
Landfills
Pesticides/fertilizers
Leaking underground storage tank (#1)
Know what type of rock solution caves are formed in, the difference between stalagmites and stalactites, and how sinkholes are formed.
Limestone
Stalagmite: ground
Stalactite: ceiling
Sinkholes are formed by roof of cave caving in
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