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Isotope Chemistry of Groundwater

What is meant by the path of rainfall from the atmosphere to the saturated portion of an unconfined aquifer? Can you identify and explain the quantities you would need to measure or estimate in order to calculate potential recharge from rainfall data?

How does the oxygen, carbon and hydrogen isotope chemistry of groundwaters provide information aquifer hydrogeology? Give me examples.

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What is meant by the path of rainfall from the atmosphere to the saturated portion of an unconfined aquifer?
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Rainfall or any precipitation makes its way from the atmosphere and can either hit the ground surface, be intercepted by vegetation or canopy, or runoff from impermeable surfaces. Regardless, all of this water eventually makes it way into the soil matrix, unless it is evaporated. When soil reaches a permeable surface, such as soil, it infiltrates through the unsaturated zone. Runoff, though it may not infiltrate onto the ground it falls on, will eventually make its way to a permeable surface that allows infiltration. Once here, the water must slowly makes its way downward, pulled by the forced of gravity. It eventually reaches the water table, adding to the saturated zone of an aquifer. ...

Solution Summary

Isotope chemistry of groundwater is examined. How the oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen isotope chemistry of groundwaters provides information aquifer hydrogeology is determined.

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