An aquifer is an area of fractured rock, gravel or sand that holds water that has soaked down through the soil. Groundwater moves to the lower parts of a catchment and is a source of water for streams, rivers and lakes. We pump groundwater from aquifers for urban and rural uses.
Aquifers can store large amounts of water. It can take months to thousands of years for groundwater to be discharged and to become part of the above-ground water cycle.
The following videos and activities model the groundwater component of the water cycle and how land use can contaminate groundwater.
- Building an aquifer model – video
- Constructing an aquifer model – activity
- Point source contamination – video
- Non-point source contamination – video
- Groundwater contamination – activity
This PLD article highlights how groundwater models were used to deepen understanding in year 3 classrooms.
Acknowledgement: Diagram by USGS, Public domain