Ground Water Chapter 11

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1 Ground Water Chapter 11 How does water get underground? How is water stored underground? How does water move? How do we find it? Why we need to protect it.

2 Lake Powell. Water levels are decreasing every year since 1999.

3 Ground Water Ground Water lies beneath the ground surface, filling pores in sediments and sedimentary rocks and fractures in other rock types Represents 0.6% of the hydrosphere (35x the water in all lakes and rivers combined) Resupplied by slow infiltration precipitation Cleaner than surface water Accessed by wells of

4 The Water Table Subsurface zone in which all rock openings are filled with water is the saturated zone Water table, top of the saturated zone Water level at surface of most lakes and rivers corresponds to local water table Above the water table is an unsaturated region called the vadose zone

5 Ground Water Movement Movement of ground water through pores and fractures is relatively slow (cms to meters/day) compared to flow of water in surface streams Flow velocities in cavernous limestones can be much higher (kms/day) Flow velocity depends upon: Slope of the water table Permeability of the rock or sediment

6 The Water Table A perched water table is above and separated from main water table by an unsaturated zone Commonly produced by thin lenses of impermeable rock (e.g., shales or clays) within permeable ones

7 Estimated Use of Water Groundwater levels are roughly constant since 1970 But population needs are steadily increasing

8 Water Distribution on Earth

9 Hydrologic Cycle Water in the hydrologic cycle moves through the atmosphere, crust, oceans, lakes, and streams. (numbers are in thousands of cubic km/yr) Runoff is fresh rain water that flows into rivers and streams

10 Annual Precipitation Annual Runoff Dry regions such as California, Arizona, New Mexico has low precip and low runoff because rain evaporates or is absorbed by soil. High runoff in the Missippii R. and Colorado R. delivers water to regions with low precip.

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12 Porosity and Permeability Porosity - the percentage of rock that consists of voids or openings Volume of empty space in a rock A rock s ability to hold water Loose sand has ~30-50% porosity Compacted sandstone may have only 10-20% porosity Permeability - the capacity of a rock to transmit fluid through pores and fractures Interconnectedness of pore spaces

13 Porosity and Permeability Most sandstones and conglomerates are porous and permeable Granites, schists, unfractured limestones are impermeable The City of Scotts Valley and surrounding areas rely solely on groundwater from the Santa Margarita Groundwater Basin for their water supply. Scotts Valley Water District (District) is responsible for provision and management of water and has been active in developing strategies to optimize water resources. Highly permeable sandstone deposits that crop out above a proposed recharge basin site in Scotts Valley

14 Porosity and Permeability Shales tend to be porous but not permeable. Outcrop in Svalabard where Conoco Phillips is trying to find safe ways to dispose of CO2 emissions in permeable sandstone layers bounded by impermeable shale layers.

15 Aquifers and Aquitards Aquifer - body of saturated rock or sediment through which water can move easily Sandstone Conglomerate Well-jointed limestone Highly fractured rock Aquitard - rock/sediment that retards ground water flow due to low porosity and/or permeability Shale, clay, unfractured crystalline rocks

16 Unconfined Aquifer Unconfined Aquifer Has a water table, and is only partly filled with water Rapidly recharged by precipitation infiltrating down to the saturated zone

17 Confined Aquifers Confined Aquifer Completely filled with water under pressure (hydrostatic head) Separated from surface by impermeable confining layer/aquitard Very slowly recharged

18 Wells Well - a deep hole dug or drilled into the ground to obtain water from an aquifer Wells in unconfined aquifers, water level before pumping is the water table Water enters well from pore spaces within the surrounding aquifer creating a cone of depression Water table can be lowered by pumping, a process known as drawdown movie Insert new Fig here

19 Artesian Wells Water may rise to a level above the top of a confined aquifer, producing an artesian well

20 Springs and Streams Spring - a place where water flows naturally from rock or sediment onto the ground surface Gaining streams - receive water from the saturated zone Gaining stream surface is local water table Losing streams - lose water to the saturated zone Stream beds lie above the water table Maximum infiltration occurs through streambed, producing permanent mound in the water table beneath dry channel movie

21 Ground Water Contamination Infiltrating water may bring contaminants down to the water table, including (but not limited to): Pesticides/herbicides Fertilizers Landfill pollutants (bug poison cans, broken thermometers, oven cleaner cans) Heavy metals Bacteria, viruses and parasites from sewage, cattle industry Industrial chemicals (PCBs, TCE) Acid mine drainage Radioactive waste Oil and gasoline

22 Ground Water Contamination Contaminated ground water can be extremely difficult and expensive to clean up (decades and millions $)

23 Ground Water Contamination Contamination from leakage in *Landfills *Animal feed lots (bacteria, viruses, parasites *Industrial toxic waste

24 Nuclear Waste Disposal Yucca Mountain, Nevada Nuclear waste disposal site 180 km NW of Las Vegas Low rainfall, depth above water table Approved by President G.W. Bush 2002

25 Balancing Withdrawal and Recharge If ground water is withdrawn more rapidly than it is recharged, the water table will drop Dropping water table can lead to ground subsidence surface of the ground drops as buoyancy from ground water is removed, allowing rock or sediment to compact and sink Subsidence can crack foundations, roads and pipelines Areas of extremely high ground water pumping (such as for crop irrigation in dry regions) have subsided 7-9 meters

26 Caves, Sinkholes, and Karst Caves - naturally-formed underground chambers Acidic ground water dissolves limestone along joints and bedding planes Caves near the surface may collapse and produce sinkholes Rolling hills, disappearing streams, and sinkholes are common in areas with karst topography

27 Hot Water Underground Hot springs - springs in which the water is warmer than human body temperature Ground water heated by nearby magma bodies or circulation to unusually deep (and warm) levels within the crust Hot water is less dense than cool water and thus rises back to the surface on its own Geysers - hot springs that periodically erupt hot water and steam Minerals often precipitate around geysers as hot water cools rapidly in the air

28 Geothermal Energy Geothermal energy is produced using natural steam or superheated water No CO2 or acid rain are produced (clean energy source) Some toxic gases given off (e.g., sulfur compounds) Can be used directly to heat buildings Superheated water can be very corrosive to pipes and equipment

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30 2 Lake Powell. Water levels are decreasing every year since 1999.

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35 Estimated Use of Water Groundwater levels are roughly constant since 1970 But population needs are steadily increasing 7 FIGURE 11.1 Estimated use of water, by source, in the United States from 1950 to [Data from U.S. Geological Survey.]

36 Water Distribution on Earth 8 FIGURE 11.2 The distribution of water on Earth. [Data from J. P. Peixoto and M. Ali Kettani, The Control of the Water Cycle. Scientific American (April 1973): 46; E. K. Berner and R. A. Berner, Global Environment. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1996, pp. 2 4.]

37 Hydrologic Cycle Water in the hydrologic cycle moves through the atmosphere, crust, oceans, lakes, and streams. (numbers are in thousands of cubic km/yr) Runoff is fresh rain water that flows into rivers and streams 9 FIGURE 11.3 The hydrologic cycle is the movement of water through Earth s crust, atmosphere, oceans, lakes, and streams. The numbers indicate the amount of water (in thousands of cubic kilometers per year) that flows among these reservoirs annually.

38 Annual Precipitation Annual Runoff Dry regions such as California, Arizona, New Mexico has low precip and low runoff because rain evaporates or is absorbed by soil. High runoff in the Missippii R. and Colorado R. delivers water to regions with low precip. 10 FIGURE 11.7 (a) Average annual precipitation in the United States. [Data from U.S. Department of Commerce, Climatic Atlas of the United States, 1968.] (b) Average annual runoff in the United States. [Data from USGS Professional Paper 1240-A, 1979.]

39 11 FIGURE 11.8 The Mississippi River and its tributaries form the largest drainage network in the United States.

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