Water table

  • water table
  • Water that occupies pores, cavities, cracks and other spaces in the crustal rocks. It includes water precipitated from the atmosphere which has percolated through the soil, water that has risen from deep magmatic sources liberated during igneous activity and fossil water retained in sedimentary rocks since their formation. The presence of groundwater is necessary for virtually all weathering processes to operate. Phreatic water is synonymous with groundwater and is the most important source of any water supply.
Abstract from DBPedia
    The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation. The zone of saturation is where the pores and fractures of the ground are saturated with water. It can also be simply explained as the depth below which the ground is saturated. The water table is the surface where the water pressure head is equal to the atmospheric pressure (where gauge pressure = 0). It may be visualized as the "surface" of the subsurface materials that are saturated with groundwater in a given vicinity. The groundwater may be from precipitation or from groundwater flowing into the aquifer. In areas with sufficient precipitation, water infiltrates through pore spaces in the soil, passing through the unsaturated zone. At increasing depths, water fills in more of the pore spaces in the soils, until a zone of saturation is reached. Below the water table, in the phreatic zone (zone of saturation), layers of permeable rock that yield groundwater are called aquifers. In less permeable soils, such as tight bedrock formations and historic lakebed deposits, the water table may be more difficult to define. The water table should not be confused with the water level in a deeper well. If a deeper aquifer has a lower permeable unit that confines the upward flow, then the water level in this aquifer may rise to a level that is greater or less than the elevation of the actual water table. The elevation of the water in this deeper well is dependent upon the pressure in the deeper aquifer and is referred to as the potentiometric surface, not the water table.

    (Source: http://dbpedia.org/resource/Water_table)