Difference Between Surface Water And Groundwater Pdf

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Material adapted from: Vandas, S. Water and the Environment, p. Click here to download the full handbook.

Groundwater is the water present beneath Earth 's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock become completely saturated with water is called the water table. Groundwater is recharged from the surface; it may discharge from the surface naturally at springs and seeps , and can form oases or wetlands.

Difference Between Surface Water and Ground Water

The water found on the surface of the earth, like water in the river or lake, is known as surface water. Ground water is normally used in households for drinking, cooking and other activities. The surface water may also be used for drinking and washing, but they have many other uses, like in agriculture and generating electricity. The surface water also recharges the underground water. The rainwater that drips deep into the ground, melting snow and glaciers recharge the ground water.

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The Difference Between Surface Water and Groundwater

When we think of freshwater, we tend to think of surface waters such as rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, ponds, and other wetlands. Surface water includes the freshwater that is channeled into stream systems, lakes, and wetlands on land. Groundwater derives primarily from rainfall and snowmelt that infiltrates through the soil and into the bedrock, where, driven by gravity, it collects between particles, fractures, and cavities inside rock layers. When it hits an impermeable subterranean layer — such as massive, nonporous rock or clay — the groundwater pools and may flow laterally along it. While groundwater might remain ensconced in aquifers for thousands of years, it can also naturally appear at the surface in the form of springs, seeps, and groundwater-fed lakes. This is due to its movement within sedimentary strata or along impervious geologic layers. While surface waters are widely used all over the world for human needs, groundwater aquifers supply most of the drinking water in the United States.

The main uses of surface water include drinking-water and other public uses, irrigation uses, and for use by the thermoelectric-power industry to cool electricity-generating equipment. Groundwater is an important part of the water cycle. Groundwater is the part of precipitation that seeps down through the soil until it reaches rock material that is saturated with water. Water in the ground is stored in the spaces between rock particles no, there are no underground rivers or lakes. Groundwater slowly moves underground, generally at a downward angle because of gravity , and may eventually seep into streams, lakes, and oceans.

Understanding hydrological process of surface water and groundwater is significant for the management of urban water resources. In this study, a total of thirty-seven water samples have been collected from the river RW, 15 samples , shallow aquifer SG, 12 samples , and deep aquifer DG, 10 samples in Suzhou, Northern Anhui Province, China, and their major ion concentrations and stable H—O isotopes have been measured. K-mean and Q-type clustering analyses ruled out the hydrological relationship between river and groundwater, but there was a significant connectivity between shallow and deep groundwater, which was further confirmed by the hydrogen and oxygen isotopes. Furthermore, the values of deuterium excess d-excess in different water bodies suggested that the groundwater has not been affected by evaporation, which was the main process controlling the isotopic composition of river water. Water resources, including the surface water and groundwater, are important for human survival and social development. However, with the development of the economic, as well as the ecological fragility of the surface water, the groundwater has become more and more important for households, agriculture, and industry in many regions, especially in North China [ 1 ]. However, a series of studies revealed that the groundwater is not separated from other hydrological systems, but can be influenced by surface water deposits, climate change, and human factors [ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ].


Surface water includes the freshwater that is channeled into stream systems, lakes, and wetlands on land. Groundwater, on the other hand, is contained in subterranean aquifers within the rock layers below the water table – the underground boundary that divides the saturated and unsaturated levels of the ground.


How do groundwater and surface water interact?

In general: Groundwater is located underground in large aquifers and must be pumped out of the ground after drilling a deep well. Surface water is found in lakes, rivers and streams and is drawn into the public water supply by an intake. Surface water is just what the name implies; it is water found in a river, lake or other surface cavity.

Difference Between Surface Water and Ground Water

Groundwater vs. Surface Water

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Groundwater

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3 Response
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