Water-Earth Dynamics, Challenge 3: Groundwater - Knowing What You've Got Before It's Gone

Research and Revise

Now that you have viewed multiple perspectives and shared information about what you know about groundwater and aquifers in Texas, it is time for you to research and revise your ideas, using the Web.  Please complete the vocabulary exercise and then visit the Web sites listed to advance your knowledge and carry out activities designed to help you focus on the important dimensions of the challenge.

Vocabulary List

Groundwater Permeability Artesian zone/aquifer Sinkhole
Aquifer Infiltration Well Karst
Water table Recharge zone Hot springs Zone of saturation
Spring Contributing zone Geysers Groundwater remediation
Porosity Vadoze zone Cavern Renewable / nonrenewable resource


  • Aquifer in a Tank comprises two lab activities developed at The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology intended for student inquiry into groundwater systems.  Carry out these labs to try things (within the context of the model), observe what happens, and record and interpret your observations.  After this inquiry you will have a better understanding of aquifers and the issues of climate, spring flow, environmental protection, and water use that are so hotly debated in Texas.
  • In this lab, How Groundwater Moves, you will determine the porosity and permeability of common soil and rock materials.
  • In Observations on Darcy's Law, part of Teaching Hydrogeology in the 21st Century, you will measure flow rates through the Darcy columns made of water bottles filled with different types and amounts of porous material.  You will be able to observe how all of the parameters in Darcy's law affect the flow rate.
  • In Groundwater - Water we doing to our planet?  You will calculate yearly runoff created by a parking lot, and calculate the loss of water that would have entered the groundwater system.

Reading Assignments