Clear as Black and White

What are some of the factors that might unnecessarily exclude people from learning about or working in the geosciences? Culture? Ethnicity? Sex? Language? A disability? Where they live? How much they earn? Something else?

Geologic Maps and Groundwater

You can find out a great deal of information from geologic maps — from the types of rocks that make up a rock unit to the age of those rocks and the angle at which the rock bed is tilted. By identifying fractures and fracture zones in rock, geologic maps can even tell you where known faults are located.

Groundwater Movement

Water that accumulates beneath the surface of the Earth is called groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground "rivers," but is actually found in the small spaces and cracks between rocks and other material such as sand and gravel. The following activity involves learning how water moves through rock materials such as sand, gravel, and clay.

Groundwater on the Move

The following activity involves learning how water moves through rock materials such as sand, gravel, and clay.

Karst Topography Model

Did you know that a quarter of the world’s population gets drinking water from karst aquifers? Karst is the type of landscape that forms by dissolution of carbonate rocks (limestone, dolomite) or other highly soluble rocks such as evaporates (gypsum and rock salt). Karst includes caves, sinkholes, sinking streams, and springs. Karst environments are vulnerable to groundwater contamination. Understanding groundwater flow in karst terrains is critical for safe drinking water.

Land and People: Finding a Balance

This environmental study project allows a group of students to consider real environmental dilemmas concerning water use and provide solutions to these dilemmas.

Modeling Earth’s Water — Fresh vs. Salty

We drink water every day — we can’t live without it! About 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water, but how much of Earth’s water is actually drinkable? In other words, how much is liquid freshwater — not salty or frozen?

• Globe or world map
• Water cycle diagram
• 100 gummy bears
• Plastic knife or scissors
• Computer with internet access
• Camera

Wetland in a Water Bottle

Wetlands are places where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by water or saturated at least some of the time. They include mangroves, marshes, swamps, forested wetlands, and bogs and are important nurseries for young birds, fish, amphibians, and other aquatic plants and animals. In addition to providing habitat for wildlife, wetlands offer storm protection, improve water quality, support aquatic species, and provide recreational opportunities. 

Subscribe to groundwater