Chapter 17 Mastering Geology

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Worldwide, the largest percentage of freshwater readily available to humans is stored in _______.

pore spaces between rocks and sediments

Which of the following materials is most readily dissolved by water?


In a losing stream, _____.

the water table is lower than the stream surface

How will the water table respond when there is a drought?

water table will rise

The water table will undulate with the ground surface. It will be low where the surface is high and high where the surface is low.


In order for an aquifer to use useful for human consumption, what kind of porosity and permeability should it have?

High porosity, high permeability

Which of the following has the highest permeability?


Which of the following materials has the highest porosity?


Which of the following materials would make the best aquitard?


A ___ is an example of a groundwater recharge area.

grassy field

Groundwater flows from __________.

high to low pressure areas

Which of the following is necessary to calculate hydraulic gradient?

the distance between two wells that penetrate the zone of saturation

A perched aquifer is located directly above a(n) __________.


Which of the following is true regarding groundwater as you move deeper below the surface?

Groundwater moves over larger distances, over longer timescales.

How does the water table change around a pumping water well?

The water table elevation decreases.

What is the cone of depression?

the shape that the water table takes on near a pumping well

When will a cone of depression stop enlarging?

when the amount of water flowing toward the well equals the amount of water being pumped out of the well.

When might a well, Well A, go dry

when the cone of depression of a second well intersects the deepest part of Well A

An artesian well must tap into ______.

a confined aquifer

An artesian system is present when groundwater __________.

under pressure rises above the aquifer level

A __________ is located where the pressure surface is above the aquifer, but below the ground.

nonflowing artesian well

If a well is drilled into an aquifer where the pressure surface is both above the aquifer and the ground, a __________ is formed.

flowing artesian well

Which of the following is a requirement for an artesian system to exist?

Aquitards must be present both above and below the aquifer.

As shown by the South Dakota example, artesian systems __________.

are able to transmit water great distances from recharge to discharge areas

What geologic process is responsible for warming the water at Hot Springs National Park?

Normal geothermal gradient

Geysers are more common in the western United States because ______.

igneous activity has occurred more recently in the area

A(n) __________ acts as a conduit that brings heated water to the surface.


__________ are intermittent springs that eject columns of water and steam at various time intervals.


What prevents water at the bottom of the underground caverns from boiling at the normal surface temperature?

The pressure from the weight of overlying water causes the boiling point to increase.

Once overlying water heats to a sufficient temperature, it __________ and releases pressure on the water below

flashes to steam

What happens after a geyser erupts?

Cool groundwater seeps back into the underground chambers, and the cycle starts again.

Which of the following can result from excessive pumping of groundwater?

Saltwater contamination Reversing the direction of flow in the aquifer Subsidence

Which of the following accounts for the largest usage of groundwater in the United States?

Agriculture and irrigation

In semi-arid to arid regions, groundwater is considered to be a nonrenewable resource because it isn’t replaced at the same rate as it is withdrawn.


Saltwater contamination can be a problem for cities in the continental interior because significant quantities of seawater were trapped in ancient sedimentary rocks of marine origin.


While on vacation, you visit a local Imax theater and see a movie about cave diving in the Yucatan Peninsula. In one of the caves they dive in, which is currently filled with water, you notice the divers swimming past some stalactites and stalagmites. If the water table is now above the level of the ceiling of the cave, what does the presence of the cave decorations indicate about past water table levels?

The water table was much lower and the features were formed by water dripping from the ceiling into an air-filled chamber

The depth below groundwater is the water table. Also, the structure and arrangement of rocks can affect the way groundwater flows. Which of the following can control groundwater’s ability to flow?

pores/fractures in the rock change of water table elevation

The presence of the Green River has a significant impact on the water table in the area around Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. How does the relationship between the Green River and the water table affect cave passage formation?

As the Green River erodes downward, the water table will lower as the groundwater flows toward the stream, carving new cave passages further from the surface.

As the Green River erodes downward, the water table will lower as the groundwater flows toward the stream, carving new cave passages further from the surface.

Precipitation infiltrates into the subsurface via sinkholes and flows through subterranean passages to the Green River Valley.

In the late twentieth century, Hidden River Cave had suffered from significant pollution and bad odor. Although various chemical pollutants had been dumped or spilled nearby, none had intentionally been disposed of in Hidden River Cave. How did they end up there?

Hidden River Cave and the dump sites are connected via various sinkholes and subterranean passages.

One of the most toxic components of a computer is the _____.

lead embedded in the glass of the monitor

lead embedded in the glass of the monitor

computer DVD player microwave

When computers are recycled in the United States in ways that limit environmental pollution, they are ____.

disassembled into their basic parts and recycled in various ways

What has happened to about 80% of the e-waste collected in the United States by recyclers?

The electronics were sent to developing countries.

One of the main messages in the film about e-waste is that responsible consumers _____.

should recycle outdated electronics

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