Getting to the Roots of Groundwater Posted on April 12th, 2020 by

Brittney Johnson (Geology ’20) conducting a permeameter test to measure water infiltration into soil.

Each year, rainfall events become more and more unpredictable due to climate change. This presents many challenges and raises many questions for society. One specific question is “How much water from rain events permeates the ground, eventually becoming groundwater?” Brittney Johnson (Geology ’20) spent last summer answering this question. She used precipitation data and groundwater simulation software to construct a model illustrating the flow of water through soil layers as rainfall amounts fluctuate over time. She also measured rates of infiltration in soil samples taken from the field (see image). Brittney’s research findings confirm that there is a relationship between rainfall events and soil water storage. This knowledge can be extremely useful when trying to determine groundwater recharge rates.


Comments are closed.