Sources of groundwater, how to find underground water – this article is about Surface runoff, infiltration,
The objective of
There is an old joke of the different types of engineers that says: mechanical engineers design weapons and civil engineers design the objectives. It is even worse for geotechnical engineers who only care about what is under the objectives. Still, despite the synonymy of the earth with sand, grime and gossip, its importance in civil engineering can not be overstated. There is almost no structure out there that is not sitting on the floor. Or at least be placed on something that is sitting on the ground.
And in reality there is more to the earth than meets the eye. For the most part, geotechnical engineers are happy to carry out their analyzes quietly, knowing very well that the.
The general public does not share their devotion to the earth and their reverence for stones. But sometimes they find themselves with the desire to educate and inform. In which case models speak more than words. Often, in the field of civil
Now we have luxurious computer models that do a good job of simulating the flow of groundwater. But even today one of the most important tools of a geotechnical engineer is the flow network. Without going into the small details, a flow network consists of two sets of perpendicular lines that create a curvilinear grid.
How to find underground water
A set are equipotential lines that connect points with the same pressure. The equipotential lines are drawn, the flow lines are drawn perpendicular to them, forming squares. These kinds of simple drawings make nice pictures, but do they really reflect how the groundwater flows in real life?
Always is important to test your calculations. Sometimes with real earth. This model is design to do just that Recreates the stream of ground water around an impediment to show the morphology and speed of the stream.
It is made of six millimeter acrylic sheets cut to size with the table saw. Solvent welding is used to connect the acrylic sheets in a narrow box. All plumbing is compose of aquarium accessories and transparent nylon tubing.
Everything was tested for leaks before the sand was added. Here’s how it works: potassium permanganate is added to three points at the top of the sand. A pump and bucket below maintain a constant head pressure in one part of the model. The differential between the water level on both sides is what drives the water to flow from one side to the other.
Groundwater that flows through the sand creates traces of the flow lines over the course of several hours. Illustrating exactly what we previously estimated with the flow network.
The flow of groundwater has not always understood. In fact, in some states regulation of groundwater pumping has been established on the explicit ignorance of their behavior.
In a landmark case that subject the capture rule to the water law in Texas in 1904, the court said that groundwater movements are so secret, hidden and high that the groundwater regulation would be practically impossible. Fortunately, geotechnical engineers have developed a knowledge base around the water flow in the subsurface.
It can be a dirty job, but a large part of geotechnicalengineering is relegate to abstract calculations and computer models. I loved having the opportunity to take a concept out of the desk and illustrate it with real water and sand.
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