The Chalk is the most important source of fresh water in Northwestern Europe; more than eight million cubic meters of water are pumped daily from the aquifer. This book reviews the origin, sedimentology, and hydraulic properties of this unique rock, as well as the chemical characteristics of the water it contains. Separate chapters cover the occurrence of groundwater in the Chalk in each of the six countries which share its resources. The factors influencing the flow of oil through the Chalk and its role as a hydrocarbon reservoir in the North Sea are treated in detail. The industrial chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides that have been allowed to enter the Chalk, thereby threatening its use for water supply are also discussed, with an emphasis on the factors that influence the distribution of the aquifer pollutants.
List of contributors; 1. The making of an aquifer; 2. The formation and diagenesis of chalk; 3. The chalk as an aquifer; 4. Modelling groundwater flow and transport in the chalk; 5. Chalk water and engineering geology; 6. The chalk aquifer - its vulnerability to pollution; 7. France; 8. Belgium; 9. The Netherlands; 10. Denmark; 11. Sweden; 12. United Kingdom; 13. The chalk as a hydrocarbon reservoir; 14. An aquifer at risk