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Thought of the Day

Chapter 6:

SUBSURFACE WATER
GROUND WATER

Water that flows or collects beneath the Earth's


surface. Groundwater originates from rain and from
melting snow and ice. It sinks into the ground, filling
the small empty spaces in soil, sediment, and porous
rocks. Aquifers, springs, and wells are supplied by the
flow of groundwater.
Occurrence of Subsurface Water

TWO MAJOR SUBSURFACE ZONES

Vadose Zone – soil pores may contain


either air or water (zone of aeration)

Phreatic Zone – all the pores of soil are


filled with water (zone of saturation)

Water table – divides the aeration zone and


saturation zone.
Moisture in the vadose zone
Three moisture regions:

Soil Water – region penetrated by roots of


vegetation.
This water can be removed by air drying or by
plant absorption.
Intermediate – it lies in between the soil water
and the capillary fringe.
Capillary Fringe - the subsurface layer in which
groundwater seeps up from a water table
by capillary action to fill pores.
Soil-Water Relationships
Buckingham introduced the concept of capillary
potential to describe the attraction of soil for water.
Capillary potential – the work required to move a
unit mass of water from the reference plane to any
point in the soil column.

The potential energy per unit mass of water


Ψ = gy
Capillary potential Ψ is related to the acceleration
of gravity g and height above datum y (negative).
Sandy loam is a type of soil used for gardening. This soil
type is normally made up of sand along with varying
amounts of silt and clay. Many people prefer sandy
loam soil for their gardening because this type of soil
normally allows for good drainage.
CECIL CLAY (soil)

Originally mapped
in Cecil County,
Maryland in 1899, more
than 10 million acres
(40,000 km²) of the Cecil
soil series (Fine,
kaolinitic, thermic Typic
Kanhapludults) are now
mapped in
the Piedmont region of
the southeastern United
States.
Equilibrium Points
Field Capacity – the moisture content of soil
after gravity drainage is complete.

Wilting Point – represents the soil-moisture


level when plants cannot extract water from
soil

The difference between the moisture content


at field capacity and at wilting point is called
Available moisture.
A tensiometer consists of a porous ceramic cup
which is inserted in the soil, filled with water, and
connected to a manometer.

In the resistivity method, a pair, of electrodes


embedded in a porous dielectric (plaster of paris,
nylon, fiber glass) is buried in the soil.

The neutron-scattering method of soil-moisture


measurement uses a source of fast neutrons which
is lowered into an aluminum access tube in the
soil.
Movement of soil moisture
AQUIFERS
An aquifer is a geologic formation
which contains water and transmits it from
one point to another in quantities sufficient to
permit economic development.
TWO TYPES OF AQUIFER
 UNCONFINED AQUIFER – (phreatic aquifer) an
aquifer that has direct access to the surface of the
Earth.

 CONFINED AQUIFER – (artesian aquifer) an aquifer


that is bounded above and below by formations of
impermeable or relatively impermeable soil or rock.
These are the geological formations which are highly porous but
non-permeable. Hence water cannot be extracted from these types of
geological formations.

These are the geological formations, which are porous but


possess very less permeability. Hence water does not readily flow out
of these formations, but instead water seeps out.

These are geological formations, which are neither porous nor


permeable.
PROPERTIES OF THE AQUIFER

It is the ratio of the pore volume to the total


volume of the formation. Porosity typically
decreases as particle size increases.

It is the ratio of the water which will drain


freely from the material to the total volume of the
formation and is always less than the porosity.
APPROXIMATE AVERAGE POROSITY, SPECIFIC YIELD, AND
PERMEABILITY OF VARIOUS MATERIALS

Permeability Intrinsic
Material Porosity, % Specific Meinzer Permeability,
Yield, % Units m3 /day·m2 D

Clay 45 3 0.01 0.0004 0.0005


Sand 35 25 1,000 41 50
Gravel 25 22 100,000 4,100 5,000
Gravel and
Sand 20 16 10,000 410 500

Sandstone 15 8 100 4.1 5


Dense
limestone 5 2 1 0.041 0.05
and Shale

Quartzite,
Granite 1 0.5 0.01 0.0004 0.0005
MOVEMENT OF GROUNDWATER

In 1856, a French
hydraulic engineer
named Henry Darcy
published an equation
that describes the flow of
a fluid through a porous
medium. It is known as
Darcy’s Law.
𝑞 = 𝑇𝐵𝑠
where:
q = the rate of water flow
T = coefficient of transmissibility
of the aquifer
B = width of the aquifer
s = slope of the hydraulic gradient
PERMEABILITY - is a measure of the ability of a
material to transmit fluids.
• METEORIC WATER - the water derived from precipitation
(snow and rain).

• CONNATE WATER - (Fossil Water) trapped in rock strata at


the time of formation. Because rock containing connate water
is typically formed from ocean sediments, connate water is
normally saline.

• JUVENILE WATER – (Magmatic water) rises from great


depth accompanying magma intrusion and affects mineralogy.
Meteoric Water
CONNATE WATER
DISCHARGE OF
GROUNDWATER
EFFLUENT STREAM (GAINING STREAM)
It is a stream which gets its water from the groundwater.
TYPES OF STREAMS
• PERENNIAL STREAMS are those that have flowing water
90% of the year in a well-defined channel.

• INTERMITTENT STREAMS are those that have flowing only


during the wet season. (50% of the year)

• EPHEMERAL STREAMS generally have flowing water only


after heavy rainfall events.
TYPES OF STREAMS
SPRINGS
 A spring is formed when the pressure in an aquifer causes some
of the water to flow out at the surface.
EQUILIBRIUM HYDRAULICS OF
WELLS
Flow toward the well through a cylindrical surface at radius x
must equal the discharge of the well, and from Darcy’s Law

𝑑𝑦
𝑞 = 2𝜋𝑥𝑦𝐾
𝑑𝑥
where:
2𝜋𝑥𝑦 = area of the cylinder
𝑑𝑦
= slope of the water table
𝑑𝑥
EQUILIBRIUM HYDRAULICS OF
WELLS
• When several wells are close together,
their cones of depression may overlap,
or interfere. Where the cones of
depression overlap, the drawdown at a
point is the sum of the drawdowns
caused by the individual wells.
METHOD OF IMAGES
 It was devised by Lord Kelvin for electrostatic theory
to treat boundary problems. An image well is assumed
to have all the properties of the real well but to be
located on the opposite side of the stream and at the
same distance from the real well. Its cone of depression
is the same as that of the real well but is inverted. The
resultant cone of depression for the real well is found
by subtracting the drawdown caused by the image well
from that caused by the real well. The corrected water
table between the real well and the stream is therefore
higher than without the effect of the stream. At the
stream, the two drawdowns are equal, and the new
drawdown is zero.
AQUIFER ANALYSIS
Techniques of the previous sections are suitable for
analysis of single wells or a small well field, but
study of a large aquifer generally requires more
efficient computational systems.
SLUG TEST
 is a variation on the typical aquifer test where an
instantaneous change is made, and the effects are
observed in the same well. This is often used to get a
quick estimate of the aquifer properties immediately
around the well.
SAFE YIELD
 Safe yield is generally considered equal to the average
replenishment rate of the aquifer from natural and
artificial recharge. Evaporation, transpiration and
basin outflow are also factored in to replenishment
rates.

 Safe yield of a groundwater basin or aquifer system is


defined as the amount of water that can be withdrawn
from it without producing an undesired effect .
SEAWATER INTRUSION
 Saltwater intrusion is the movement of saline
water into freshwater aquifers, which can lead to contamination
of drinking water sources and other consequences. Saltwater
intrusion occurs naturally to some degree in most coastal aquifers,
owing to the hydraulicconnection
between groundwater and seawater. Because saline water has a
higher mineral content than freshwater, it is denser and has a higher
water pressure. As a result, saltwater can push inland beneath the
freshwater.
Cause of saltwater intrusion
 Groundwater extraction is the primary cause of
saltwater intrusion. Groundwater is the main
source of drinking water in many coastal areas, and
extraction has increased over time. Under baseline
conditions, the inland extent of saltwater is limited
by higher pressure exerted by the freshwater
column, owing to its higher elevation. Groundwater
extraction can lower the level of the freshwater
table, reducing the pressure exerted by the
freshwater column and allowing the denser
saltwater to move inland laterally.
ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE
 artificial recharge is a process by which excess
surface water is directed into the ground either by
spreading on the surface, by using recharge wells,
or by altering natural conditions to increase
infiltration to replenish an aquifer. Artificial
recharge (sometimes called planned recharge) is a
way to store water underground in times of water
surplus to meet demand in times of shortage.
The methods employed for artificial recharge are
controlled by the geologic situation of an area and by
economic considerations.

 Storing floodwaters in reservoirs constructed over


permeable areas.
 Storing floodwaters in reservoirs for later release into the
stream channel at rates approximating the percolation
capacity of the channel at rates streamflow to spreading
areas located in a highly permeable formation
 Excavating recharge basins to reach permeable formations
 Pumping water through recharge wells into aquifer
 Overirrigating in areas of high permeability
 Construction of wells adjacent to a stream to induce
percolation from streamflow
ARTESIAN AQUIFERS
 An artesian aquifer is an
underground layer which
holds groundwater unde
r pressure. This causes
the water level in the
well to rise to a point
where the pressure is
equal to the weight of
water putting it under
pressure.
TIME EFFECTS IN GROUNDWATER
 Flow rates in the ground water are normally
extremely slow, and considerable time may be
involved in ground water phenomena. A critical
lowering of the water table adjacent to a coast may
not bring immediate saltwater intrusion because of
the time required for the salt water to move inland.
 WERNER suggests that several hundred years
might be required for a sudden increase in water
level in the recharge are of an extensive artesian
aquifer to be transmitted through the aquifer.

 JACOB found that water levels on Long Island


were related to an effective precipitation which was
the sum rainfalls for the previous 25 years, each
weighted by a factor which decreased with time.

 McDONALD and LANGBEIN found long term


fluctuations in streamflow in the Columbia basin
which they believe are related to groundwater
fluctuations.