14.1. Groundwater – Learning Outcomes

After reading this chapter of the textbook, learning the vocabulary, and working through the review questions, students should be able to:

  • Draw a rough cross-section drawing through a typical aquifer and describe the features of an aquifer system.
  • Describe the difference between the saturated and unsaturated zones of an aquifer.
  • Describe how the water table can vary seasonally and/or due to changes in climate conditions.
  • Describe how porosity varies between unconsolidated sediments, sedimentary rocks, and igneous and metamorphic rocks. Draw examples of the different kinds of pore spaces.
  • Describe how permeability can vary depending on porosity and interconnectedness of pores.
  • Give examples of types of groundwater contamination and their sources.

Learning outcomes not covered in the textbook chapter in detail, but we may discuss them in class (depending on your professor):

  • Describe the difference between a losing stream and a gaining stream.
  • Describe how groundwater resources can be depleted by over-use of groundwater wells, and how in coastal areas this can lead to saltwater inundation.


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Physical Geology Workbook Copyright © 2019 by Joyce M. McBeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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