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Surface& Groundwater


Water vapor water in the form of gas. – Invisible and not the same thing as steam
Groundwater Water that fills the cracks and spaces in underground rock layers
Irrigation supplying water to dry land in order to make the land suitable for growing crops
Tributary Smaller streams and rivers that feed into a main river or larger body of water.
Watershed The LAND AREA that supplies water to a river system (drainage basins)
Divide Place where one watershed (land area) is SEPARATED from another (often a mountain range)
Artificial Levee constructed along edges of water to make the bank taller & prevent flooding.
Natural Levee Ridge made of up sediment deposit along a river bank that builds up after repeated flooding
Reservoir A lake that stores water for human use
Eutrophication process that causes a lake or pond to dry up because excess nutrients build up in a lake over many years.
Pore Different sized SPACES between the particles of soil and rock
Permeable A material that allows water to easily pass through or permeate. Usually close to the surface Ex: Sand or Gravel
Impermeable A material that water CANNOT PASS THROUGH easily – these things are usually deeper under the surface. Ex: Clay and Granite
Saturated zone The area of permeable rock or soil that is totally filled with water.
Water table The top of the saturated zone. The water level
Unsaturated zone Layer of rocks & soil ABOVE the water table- not completely full of water
Aquifer Any underground layer of rock that holds water
Spring Occurs when the water table meets the ground surface – groundwater bubbles or flows out of cracks in the rock.
Recharge NEW water that enters the aquifer from the surface. Replenishes and refills the aquifer.
Artesian well well in which water rises on its own because of the pressure within the aquifer. Does not require a pump.
Wetland Area of land covered by a shallow layer of water during some or all of the year.