318 pages, 70 illus
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of the competing philosophies of groundwater management, explaining how laissez-faire approaches are gradually being superseded by evaluations of the social, economic and ecological sustainability of alternative exploitation options for aquifers.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)
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