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Groundwater in the Environment: An Introduction


By: Paul L Younger

318 pages, 70 illus


Paperback | Jul 2006 | #157209 | ISBN: 1405121432
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £42.50 $55/€48 approx

About this book

This book provides a simple, yet rigorous and thorough, introduction to groundwater systems, without resorting to mathematical notation. Einstein argued that "the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking". Accordingly, this book uses simple language and analogies to everyday experiences, to explain the origins, nature and behaviour of subsurface water. It then, goes on to explain how groundwater fits into the wider natural environment: how it feeds rivers and lakes, and the freshwater ecosystems which they host. Human dependence on aquifer resources is thoroughly explained, as well as the mortal dangers which groundwater processes can sometimes pose.

The fragility of groundwater systems to pollution, climate change and over-exploitation is explored in depth. Even the principles and practice of advanced mathematical modelling of groundwater flow and reactive solute transport are set forth without recourse to the Greek alphabet! The book closes with an exposition of the competing philosophies of groundwater management, explaining how laissez-faire approaches are gradually being superseded by evaluations of the social, economic and ecological sustainability of alternative exploitation options for aquifers.

Although written primarily to address the needs of undergraduate students in environmental sciences, geography and geology, the book will also be found useful by professionals working in various fields of natural resource management (e.g. ecologists, foresters, agriculturalists, surveyors, planners and environmental regulators), who often come across groundwater in their work, but are reluctant to read conventional texts replete with daunting equations. For practicing hydrogeologists and engineers who never received any formal training in freshwater ecology, or on issues such as climate change, this book provides a rapid 'crash course' in the new frontiers of groundwater management.

What a pleasure this book is! If you teach introductory hydrogeology to students of any discipline, then this book, by Paul Younger, is the one to recommend to your students as precourse or supplementary reading. If they read it, you will not need to give any lectures explaining the context, concepts, or issues...Put it at the top of your courses' reading lists! (David Lerner Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group, University of Sheffield, Groundwater Vol. 45, No. 3 2007)


Preface Acknowledgments 1. Occurrence of Water Underground 1.1. Groundwater and the Global Water Cycle 1.2. The Natural Zonation of Water Underground 1.3. Water Pressure, the Saturated Zone, Aquifers, and Aquitards 1.4. Aquifer Properties: Effective Porosity, Permeability, Storage 1.5. The Geology of Groundwater Occurrence 2. Sources of Groundwater: Recharge Processes 2.1. Provenance of Groundwater 2.2. Recharge Processes 2.3. Movement of Water through the Unsaturated Zone 3. Groundwater Movement 3.1. "The Force that Drives the Water through the Rocks" 3.2. Quantifying Flow Rates: Darcy's Law and Hydraulic Conductivity 3.3. Groundwater Flow Patterns 3.4. Quantifying the Hydraulic Properties of Aquifers 4. Natural Groundwater Quality 4.1. How to Read a Water Analysis 4.2. Chemical Characteristics of Natural Groundwaters: Origins and Significance 4.3. Displaying and Classifying Groundwater Quality 4.4. The evolution of Natural Groundwater Quality 5. Groundwater Discharge and Catchment Hydrology 5.1. Groundwater Discharge Features 5.2. The role of Groundwater in Generating Surface Runoff 5.3. Estimating the Groundwater Component of Catchment Runoff 5.4. Physical Controls on Groundwater Discharge at the Catchment Scale 6. Groundwater and Freshwater Ecosystems 6.1. Freshwater Ecosystems 6.2. Groundwater-fed Wetland Ecosystems 6.3. Fluvial Ecosystems and the Hyporheic Zone 6.4. Groundwater Ecology 7. Groundwater as a Resource 7.1. Current Resource Utilization of Groundwater 7.2. Constraints on Groundwater Utility 7.3. Methods of Groundwater Abstraction 7.4. Conjunctive use of Groundwaters with Surface Waters 7.5. Groundwater as a Thermal Resource 8. Groundwater Hazards 8.1. Geohazards and Hydro-geohazards 8.2. Natural Hydro-geohazards 8.3. Hydro-geohazards Induced by Human Activities 9. Groundwater Under Threat 9.1. Threats to Groundwater Systems 9.2. Depletion of Groundwater Quantity 9.3. Degradation of Groundwater Quality 10. Modeling Groundwater Systems 10.1. Why Simulate Groundwater Systems? 10.2. Conceptual Models 10.3. Representing the Conceptual Model Mathematically 10.4. Ways of Doing the Sums: Solving Physically Based Models 10.5. One Step Beyond: Simulating Groundwater Quality 10.6. Groundwater Modeling In Practice 11. Managing Groundwater Systems 11.1. Approaches to Groundwater Resource Management 11.2. Towards Sustainable Groundwater Development 11.3. Groundwater Control Measures to Mitigate Geohazards 11.4. Preventing Groundwater Contamination 11.5. Remediating Contaminated Groundwaters References Glossary Index

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Paul L. Younger (PhD C.Geol. C.Eng.) is HSBC Professor of Environmental Technologies at the University of Newcastle, United Kingdom, where he directs water research within the Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability, and is also a Director of the leading groundwater control contracting company, Project Dewatering Ltd. His groundwater engineering experience spans more than 20 years and six continents, ranging from hand-digging water wells with indigenous communities in the Americas, through sophisticated numerical modelling of pollutant migration in aquifers, to the design of novel remediation systems for extremely contaminated groundwaters.

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