When examining the geology of a region for potential useable aquifers, what characteristics or factors would you consider? Also, taking into account certain natural and human factors, which areas would you avoid

EXAMINING THE GEOLOGY OF A REGION FOR POTENTIAL USEABLE AQUIFERS

INTRODUCTION

An aquifer is a geologic manifestation, with a high concentration of permeable structures, thus providing a source for wells, springs, and water sources. Aquifers are underground layers of porous rock, which allow movement of water between layers of non aqueous rock, such as granite (Ellis, 2008). The movement of water is dependent on two main factors: Movement secondary to pressure changes. Water moves from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure. This pull is important for the formation of aquifers. Secondly, water moves from regions of high altitude, to areas of lower altitude, due to the effect of gravity. These forces constitute the hydraulic head. A positive pressure gradient coupled with the effects of gravity will favour the formation of aquifers (Ouazar, 2006). This movement of water is slow and definite. Infiltration is continuous, between porous rocks, until a zone of saturation is achieved. There is a basement zone of impermeable rock known as the “aquitard” (Ellis, 2008).Water cannot seep through, this impermeable zone, thus resulting in water being held as groundwater. The forces known as “hydraulic head” are responsible for the movement of ground water.
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