Static pore water pressures in confined aquifers vary in response to ground surface loading changes, including precipitation and evaporation. Under certain hydrogeological conditions such aquifers can function as giant natural weighing lysimeters, referenced here as 'geological weighing lysimeters'. The extent of the land area 'weighed' increases with aquifer depth and it is of interest to establish at what depth it is still possible to monitor surface water budgets. An 86 mm rainfall event produced a clear loading signal in a well in western Kansas at 300 m depth. The loading effect is quantitatively consistent with elastic deformation induced by the rainfall mass and suggests that geological weighing lysimeters could operate at considerably greater depths, thereby monitoring water budgets over a significant land area. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
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A rainfall loading response recorded at 300 meters depth: Implications for geological weighing lysimeters