Chapter 11-Groundwater and Caves

                     Physical Geology Illustrated Vocabulary    
Cochise College                                                     
Geology Home Page  
Roger Weller, geology instructor
wellerr@cochise.edu     

Chapter 11
copyright 2015-Roger Weller
last edited: 12/7/15

interesting link on groundwater-related topics

aquifer
-is a structure below the surface of the ground that carries water and
can serve as a source of water.
-aquifer-Opal's Pals

artesian well
-is a well in which water shoots out of the ground.
-artesian well diagram
-artesian well-Opal's  Pals

carbon dioxide
-is a gas denser than air; each molecule consists of one carbon atom and two
oxygen atoms. Carbon dioxide is used to produce the bubbles in soda pop.

carbonic acid
-is carbonated water; a weak acid made of carbon dioxide and water.
This acid can eventually cause the decomposition of most silicate minerals.

cave
-is an underground cavity.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-1
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-2
-Greece-Antiparos Cave

cave formation process
-A standard limestone cave needs four factors to form: relief, limestone, fractures,
and rain.
-making a cave-Opal's Pals

cave onyx
-is also known as dripstone.  Cave onyx consists of banded layers of calcite deposited
within a cave.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-Lumpy And Bacon Slab Stalactites 
-calcite onyx cabochon-1 
-calcite onyx cabochon-2 

cavern
-is the same as a cave, but you can charge more admission if you call it a cavern.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-large cave 

column
-is a cave feature made of dripstone that forms when a stalactite and a stalagmite merge together.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-large column 

cone of depression
-occurs as the water table drops in the vicinity of the well due to ooverpumping.
-cone  of depression-Opal's Pals

contaminant plume
-is a quantity of contaminated groundwater moving beneath the surface.
-contaminant plume-Opal's Pals

dripstone
-consists of layers of minerals deposited inside of a cave, usually as stalactites or
stalagmites.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-stalactites and stalagmites 

geothermal gradient
-is a measure of how fast the temperatures rises with depth.
-geothermal gradient-Opal's Pals

geyser
-is an explosive eruption of hot water and steam from a hole in the ground.
-Yellowstone, geyser 
-geyser-Opal's Pals

ground subsidence
-If over pumping has continued for a long time, the surface of the ground drops.
-ground subsidence diagram
-warning about earth fissures

groundwater
-is water in found in the ground.
-groundwater costs-Opal's Pals

helictite
-is a twig like stalactite often covered with crystals.
-aragonite cave formation 
-calcite cave formation 

hydraulic head
-A supply of water at a high elevation that is connected to an enclosed body of water at a lower
elevation creates pressure in the lower body.  Typically the pressure increase is about 1 pound of
pressure for every two feet of the water column.
-hydraulic head-Opal's Pals

hydrogen sulfide
-is H2S, a stinky gas associated with certain hot springs, such as in Yellowstone National Park.
It is also a major component of sewer gas.
-hydrogen sulfide-Opal's Pals

hydrothermal alteration
-is created by hot mineralized water coming from an igneous intrusion that then changes
the composition and structure of the minerals in the surrounding country rock.
-hydrothermal alteration 
-hydrothermal alteration-close up 
-California, Lassen Peak-hydrothermal alteration of volcanic ash 

karst topography
-is a landscape marked by sinkholes and underlain by a large number of limestone caves.

leaching
-is a chemical process in which water moving through permeable rock materials dissolves
some minerals and then carries these minerals to another area.
-leaching-Opal's Pals

liesegang figure
-Water getting into a joint leaches out some minerals and deposits others in a curved
semi-concentric pattern which can be observed when the altered rock is broken..
-liesegang rings

living cave
-is a cave in which mineralized dripping water is still present and stalactites and stalagmites
are still growing.
-living cave-Opal's Pals

mineralized vein
-is created when an open fracture is filled with minerals deposited by hydrothermal action.
-quartz vein 

natural spring
-is where water flows out of the ground.
-natural spring-Opal's Pals

Old Faithful Geyser
-is the most famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
-Yellowstone-Old Faithful Geyser 
-Old Faithful Geyser-Opal's Pals

overpumping
-occurs when groundwater is pumped out of the ground faster than new groundwater can flow into
the area and maintain the same level of the water table.
-cone of depression diagram
-overpumping-Opal's Pals

permafrost ground
-is semi permanently frozen ground.

permeability
-is the ability of a fluid to flow or pass through a material.
-permeability-Opal's  Pals

porosity
-is a measure of the amount of open space in a rock.  It is also the measure of how much liquid can be
stored within the rock.
-porosity-Opal's Pals

sinkhole
-is a funnel-shaped topographic feature in which water drains downwards at the bottom of the sinkhole.
These depressions can form directly over caves or may result as a collapse features which were undermined
by the dissolution of the underlying ground.

stalactite
-is a cave dripstone feature that hangs down from the ceiling of a cave.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-stalactites-1 
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-stalactites-2 
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-lumpy and bacon slab stalactites 
-stalactite-Opal's Pals

stalagmite
-is a cave dripstone feature that forms on the floor of a of cave.
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-stalactite and stalagmite approaching each other 
-New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns-stalactites and a large stalagmite 
-stalagmite-Opal's Pals

water table
-is the top of the saturated zone. The water table is the level to which water will rise in a well.
-water table-Opal's Pals

Yellowstone National Park
-is a large area in the northwest corner of Wyoming that is famous for its geological attractions of geysers, hot springs,
boiling mud pots, and waterfalls.
-map of Yellowstone National Park
-Yellowstone, geyser fields 
-Yellowstone, Old Faithful Geyser 
-Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs 
-Yellowstone, bubbling pond 
-Yellowstone Falls

zone of aeration
-is the region of the ground above the water table where the spaces between grains are mostly filled with air.
-water table diagram
-zone of aeration-Opal's Pals

zone of saturation
is the region of the ground below the water table where all open spaces are filled with water.
-water table diagram
-zone of saturation-Opal's Pals

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