Environmental Science: Water Resources and Pollution

Zone of Aeration
Area in the soil that is not filled with water, above water table
Zone of Saturation
Area in the soil that is filled with groundwater, below water table
Aquifer
Underground layer of soil filled with groundwater
Aquitard
Layer of rock or other barrier that slows orr halts underground water movement
Recharge area
equivalent of watershed for confined aquifers, opened up by uplift, access for pollutants and water
Infiltration
stage of water cycle in which runoff and precipitation seeps into the soil, cleans water
confined aquifer
aquifer between two layers of rock, can only be replenished by recharge zone
unconfined aquifer
aquifer which is open to the surface. Rrecharges faster, but more prone to pollution
water table
the barrier between the aerated and saturated zones, the level of the water
watershed
the area from which water drains into the head waters of a river (giant bowl/funnel/basin)
epilimnion
upper layer in a freshwater lake: warmer, high ph, higher do, most phytoplankton, fewer other nutrients
thermocline
thin barrier area between epi and hypolimnion, area of fast temp change
hypolimnion
area at bottom of lake: most nutrients from dead producers, coldest, low do, low ph, no photosynthesis
littoral zone
shallow, near shore, where rooted plants grow, high bioversity: rooted above water (cattails, water lilies), rooted below water (muskgrass), floating plants (duckweed), ddecomposers, frogs, snails, insects, fish
limnetic zone
open, sunlit surface layer, stops at depth w/no more sun. main photosynth body, lots o phytoplank,
profundal zone
deep, no sun, no phototsynth, low do, fish adapted dark cool water, food produced above
benthic zone
bottom of lake, cool, low do, decomposers, snails, clams, crayfish, catfish, wormlike larvae
source zone
mountainous, where water comes from, steep fast streams
transition zone
between mountains+plain, foot hills, wider low streams
floodplain zone
wide rivers, deltas which empty into rivers
wetlands
covered w/ fresh water nearly all of the time, away from coast
marsh
wetland w/ few trees
swaps
wetland w/ trees and shrubs
prairie potholes
depressions carved out by glaciers
floodplains
recieve heavy water during rain, floods
bogs/fens
waterlogged soil, peat, maybe trees
wet arctic tundra
duh
estuary
partially enclosed coastal, mixed fresh/salt, where river turns into ocean, ecotone, salinity varies by tide/season variations in freshwater flo/ runoff from rain, salt from typhoons, storms. Very silty, productive,
estuary functions
breeding grounds, maintain water quality by diluting, filtering, settling silts, pollutants, recreation, absorb and buffer storm/flood damage
stream pollution
_____ septic, _______
wetland functions
food/habitat for 1/3 endangered us species; filter, dilute, degrad toxic wastes, excess nutrients, sediments