Earth Science

Water on Earth

Introduction to Groundwater

Study Tip
When people build wells to collect water, they are collecting water that comes from an aquifer.

Groundwater and Aquifers

  • Groundwater is water that flows underneath the ground, and it is a very common source of fluid.
  • Groundwater resides in aquifers, which consists of permeable rock and sediments with water in between.
Study Tip
When people build wells to collect water, they are collecting water that comes from an aquifer.
  • Some aquifers are beneath the surface, while some aquifers are much deeper. Some aquifers may be beneath another aquifer.

Collection

  • Capillary Action describes how water moves through porous soil and rocks, and how water moves from wet soil to dry soil.
  • The recharge is the amount of water that is able to collect into groundwater. The climate, slope, rock types, vegetation, and usage of a land determine the recharge of an aquifer.
  • Groundwater can collect in aquifers for a long time, and the term fossil water arises because water in an aquifer can remain there for thousands of years.
Aquifers
Aquifers are a very common source
of water, typically found under the
Earth’s surface.
Concept Check
  • What makes up an aquifer?
  • What determines the amount of groundwater that can accumulate in an aquifer?