Table of Contents
Where does groundwater usually flow?
Under natural conditions, ground water moves along flow paths from areas of recharge to areas of discharge at springs or along streams, lakes, and wetlands. Discharge also occurs as seepage to bays or the ocean in coastal areas, and as transpiration by plants whose roots extend to near the water table.
What can groundwater flow through?
Groundwater is stored in and moves slowly (compared to surface runoff in temperate conditions and watercourses) through layers or zones of soil, sand and rocks: aquifers.
What underground zone does groundwater come from?
Groundwater fills in all the empty spaces underground, in what is called the saturated zone, until it reaches an impenetrable layer of rock. Groundwater is contained and flows through bodies of rock and sediment called aquifers.
Is groundwater flow underground?
Groundwater flows underground until it reaches a discharge zone, an area where the water is above the land surface. Springs are clearly visible discharge zones. Less obvious is the groundwater seeping into wetlands or contributing to stream flows.
How does groundwater enter the ground?
Ground water can be obtained by drilling or digging wells. A well is usually a pipe in the ground that fills with ground water. This water can then be brought to the land surface by a pump. Shallow wells may go dry if the water table falls below the bottom of the well, as illustrated at right.
What is an underground layer of permeable rock and soil that contains water?
An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt). Groundwater from aquifers can be extracted using a water well.
How does groundwater flow underground?
Water moves underground downward and sideways, in great quantities, due to gravity and pressure. Eventually it emerges back to the land surface, into rivers, and into the oceans to keep the water cycle going.
What is groundwater flow in water cycle?
The groundwater slowly moves through the spaces and cracks between the soil particles on its journey to lower elevations. This movement of water underground is called groundwater flow.
What are the zones of groundwater?
Groundwater is found in two zones. The unsaturated zone, immediately below the land surface, contains water and air in the open spaces, or pores. The saturated zone, a zone in which all the pores and rock fractures are filled with water, underlies the unsaturated zone.
How does groundwater flow in an underground stream?
[SE drawing] It’s critical to understand that groundwater does not flow in underground streams, nor does it form underground lakes. With the exception of karst areas, with caves in limestone, groundwater flows very slowly through granular sediments, or through solid rock that has fractures in it.
How does groundwater move through the Earth’s crust?
Groundwater flow is the movement of water that travels and seeps through soil and rock underground. Stored in cavities and geologic pores of the earth’s crust, confined groundwater is under a great deal of pressure. Its upper part is lower than the material in which it is confined.
Where does groundwater come from in a drought?
Thus, you can see groundwater seepage coming to the surface. By the way, it is seepage such as this that helps keep water flowing in many creeks and streams during periods of drought. Groundwater moves underground. Of course, the source of all water is precipitation, the downward arrows coming down from the top in the diagram.
How does groundwater interact with the surface water?
Groundwater interacts with surface water. Water can flow from a lake or stream into the ground, travel for miles underground, and then flow back into another lake or stream or be pumped out through a well.