Groundwater and Hydrology Term Paper

  • Length: 12 pages
  • Subject: Geography
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #53233682

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Groundwater & Hydrology

Water is the most cast off natural material in the earth. Irrespective of variations in its supply with the pace of time and location its aggregate quantity remains constant. The transformation of the water takes place through a continuation process referred to as hydrological cycle deriving its momentum through the solar energy and gravity. Down pouring of rain consequent upon condensation of clouds are extracted by the roots of plants, flooded over the surface joining the streams and rivers and to some extent absorbed by the earth to form the reservoir of underwater. Vaporization of water from water reservoirs, and transpiration of plants makes the water back to atmosphere.

The invisible underwater, which is the result of the continuous process of hydrological cycle, constitutes the key source of the water. This is also considered as the primary reservoir of pure water in a nation. Presently, the assessments of underwater levels, rational handling of the available resources, as well as safeguarding its standard are the matters of prime concern. The management of underwater resources through the present day hydrological practice primarily includes forecasting the capability of the underwater reservoir to support for durable extraction, enduring impact of such extraction, assessment of water standards etc. (Freeze; Cherry, 1979)

The occurrence of ground water

The groundwater is observed to rest on the empty spaces of the natural elements such as soils, unconsolidated settlings and rocks. Envisaging the level of underwater is quite a hard task. It is considered by some that the groundwater is reserved in the subversive lakes and flows in subversive rivers. The groundwater is the underlying water beneath the ground that is fully soaked through the small outlets of soils and rocks. The groundwater is refilled primarily by the downpour and determined totally by the local environment and geology, which causes its disproportionate distribution in both quantity and quality. Evaporation of some portions of water is caused by the falling rain or melting snow; some are also loosed by way of moisture out of evaporation through plants; lose occurs while flowing over the surface and in streams; penetration of some is also observed by the pores or cracks of the soil and rocks. (Cesare, 2001)

The penetration of water initially strives for a restoration of the evaporated and utilized underwater during the earlier dehydrated period. There exists an unsaturated zone in between the upper surface of the earth and actual water basin. The small pores of the soil and rocks of such unsaturated zone contain some water while the large outlets are seen to contain air. Inundation of the zone occurs after a considerable rainfall; and complete dehydration occurs with a prolonged dry period. Desiccation through molecular attractions causes some water to stay in the unsaturated zone not flowing to the reservoir. These forces can be seen as similar to one that causes a towel feel clammy after saturation. The infiltration of the surplus water to the water basin through the pores of rocks starts only after fulfillment of such hydrological needs of the soil and plants.

The pores of the permeable rock below the water basin is filled with water and through these pores the water flows to streams, springs and wells making available water for utilization. It is generally observed that the refilling of water basins are comparatively a time consuming process due to hindrances caused by the unsaturated zone and small pores of the permeable rock. The rate at which the water table refills itself is a matter of great concern. The reservoirs having a thin stratum of permeable rock are visualized to have been refilled quickly. There is however possibilities for artificial recharging of aquifers. (Barringer; Dunn; Battaglin; Vowinkel, 1990)

There are primarily two methods of such artificial refilling. Firstly the method is that of spreading of water over the surface especially in the pits, ditches etc. Or by construction of water reservoirs by setting up walls and dams for detention of running water through streams so as to forcing the reserved water to penetrate through the pores more intensively. Secondly, the wells may be constructed through the permeable rock and efforts may be made to inject the surplus water. This is nothing but providing extra pores facilitating saturation of water to the underground water basin. It is observed that a well generally bored into the permeable rock will maintain the water level up to the under ground water basin by replacing the extracted water through pumping with its inflow from the saturated rocks through the process of gravitation forces. (Thomas, 1951)

Taking the aggregate water of the country as a whole into consideration neither a declining nor an increasing trend is observed. During the rainy season there is evidences of increase in water level and decrease that of decrease in a dry period. In the central and eastern regions of the nation where extraction of water through pumping is not in excess of the replenished water it has been observed that the average underground water level is maintained at the same level as that was at the beginning of the last century. Accurate location of the ground water and identification of its depth, quality and quantity necessitates various procedures to be implemented. A comprehensive examination and analysis and determination of the hydrologic and geological characteristic of the selected location are essential for a productive management of the water resource. (Cesare, 2001)

Properties and classification of water bearing formations

The topographical features of the selected area assist the hydrologists in identification of the existence of shallow underwater levels. The valleys in comparison to the hilly areas are more conducive for existence of shallow ground water. Analysis of rocks provides most worthy evidences in this regard. The initiations in detection of advantageous circumstances of ground-water development begin with preparation of a detailed map by the hydrologists depicting the location and prevalence of types of rocks on the landscape as well as underneath the ground. Evidences of ground water are also gathered from the kinds and relative positions of the joints and cracks that exist on the landscape. Analysis of wells and gathering of information on depth, quantity of extracted water, penetration to the kinds of rock also provide evidences on existing ground water. (Freeze; Cherry, 1979)

The expression aquifer is commonly known and referred to as Water-bearing formation and a natural system containing minute openings or open areas where water gets collected. However, these crevices should be sufficiently big to allow water to flow through them in the direction of the wells and springs at an appreciable pace. The dimension of the hole as well as the entire quantity of holes in a system could be either little or big that depends on the texture of the substance. The holes in clay that contains minute particles are very tiny but the total amount of the holes in system like this is generally more. The flow of water in a structure made out of clay is slow because of the minute fissures but the volume of contained water is considerable big. This implies that although a clay structure might be fully soaked with water, it will not pass water to the wells, and hence cannot qualify as an aquifer. (Moench, 2004) material like that of sand which is rough and which comprises of bigger free spaces enables water to pass without much hindrance. A water soaked sand structure can be construed as an aquifer as it can store water and channelize it at an observable pace there is a difference of pressure. The topmost plane of the region of saturation is known as the water table. The geography of the land determines in a small measure the contour of the water table and has a propensity to follow, in a usual manner, the surface shape of the land. An unsaturated zone is present above the water table. Air as well as water is present in the crevices of the rock and soil. Presence of water in this zone is known as soil moisture. The total area beneath the water table is known as saturated zone, and the water contained in this saturated portion is known as groundwater. (Moench, 2004)

Aquifers are constituted of disintegrated or unfastened substances, rigid rocks or a mixture of the two substances. Disintegrated substances vary from unfastened gravel, sand, silt or clay. Rigid structures may comprise of granite, sandstone, shale and a lot of different nature of rocks. A majority of the people have an idea about the manner of transportation of water through disintegrated aquifers like gravel, but a lot of others are ignorant about the fact that groundwater can also travel in rigid aquifers in an identical manner. Open areas, holes or fissures, can pass on water at uneven speed. (Moench, 2004)

The spaces in the holes in case of rigid sandstone may pass on sufficient quantities of water for your well; but highly cracked sandstone or limestone might pass on water at rates several times in excess of…

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