Aquifers Support Life

Jan 6, 2021

Environmental Enlightenment #302

Unconsolidated soil and rocks, when filled with water, make aquifers.

Aquifers are subsurface formations of soil and rock that are saturated with water.

Aquifers are made of pores and particles. The groundwater fills the pores.

Some rock formations are more or less porous than others.

Clay is 50% empty space.

Sand is 25% empty space.
Semi-consolidated sandstone is 10% empty space.
Aquifers are not subterranean lakes or rivers. Take a swimming pool, fill it with sand to the brim, put water in the bottom two feet and you have a two-foot-thick aquifer on your hand.
When groundwater is contaminated with hazardous substances, we immediately get interested in its movement: How fast? Where? Any wells down the line? Any beneficial use threatened?

Here’s a case of a corner lot gasoline station where free floating gasoline (violet) and water-dissolved gasoline components (green) have spread far in the subterranean aquifer.

Water is essential to every aspect of life, and much of our water comes from underground sources (aquifers). We all have a great interest in reliable, safe water resources.

Water is life.


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