from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Saturday, 3rd October 2015 16:55 - BBC TwoThis final episode considers the challenges faced by the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - and asks what the... Read more: The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteSaturday, 3rd October 2015 17:30 - BBC Radio 4
The Great British Year: WinterMonday, 5th October 2015 21:00 - BBC Four
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageTuesday, 6th October 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteAvailable for over a yearHow do you value something like a painting? What makes one artist worth more than another? Who decides what is in... Read more: The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of Taste
BBC Inside Science: Preserving global diversity: Kew specialAvailable for over a year
Countdown To Life: The Extraordinary Making Of You: The Final PushAvailable until Saturday, 31st October 2015 00:15
The ascent of woman: PowerAvailable until Friday, 30th October 2015 02:30
Who will lead Britain out of the European UnionPerhaps it's not surprising that campaigners against the European Union don't want to work... Read more: Who will lead Britain out of the European Union
OpenLearn Live: 2nd October 2015Two mathematicians who threw shapes, Brexit, canals -a collection of free learning through... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 2nd October 2015
Learning to teachThis free course, which comprises four study units, is aimed at people who are considering... Try: Learning to teach now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is...
Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. In the UK there are areas where water supplies are limited, showin by recent droughts. Globally, there are many reas that do ot have enough water to support the current population adequately. Decisions will have to be made on the best way to use water in a world where there is climate change.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- using information from wells, the topography of the ground and a water table contour map, carry out the following: interpret cross-sections, calculate the thickness of the unsaturated zone, and the rate of groundwater flow; deduce the direction in which groundwater is flowing; and estimate the depth to the saline interface in a coastal area from the height of the water table;
- list the types of rock that usually make good aquifers, and assess how good an aquifer a rock could be, given its porosity and hydraulic conductivity;
- distinguish between unconfined and confined aquifers, and recognize conditions in confined aquifers that will produce a flowing artesian well;
- using suitable data, calculate the exploitable storage, specific yield and specific retention of an aquifer.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Many people have the impression that underground water occupies vast caverns, such as those in the Derbyshire Peak District, flowing from one cavern to another along underground rivers. This is a common misconception: underground caverns are fairly rare, but huge quantities of water exist underground, within rocks. This is because many rocks contain pores, spaces that come in all shapes and sizes. In sediments, and consequently sedimentary rocks, there are often pores between grains which can be filled with water. There may also be spaces between rock beds or along joints, fractures or fissures which can also contain water. However, before we look at pores in more detail we will examine how water gets into the rock.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Earth's physical resources: origin, use and environmental impact (S278) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Environmental Science courses or view the range of currently available OU Environmental Science courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 11th July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.