Subsurface-water flow and solute transport: federal glossary of selected terms

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The purpose of this report is to provide a glossary of selected terms for saturated and unsaturated flow and related processes involved in transport of contaminants in the subsurface. The glossary contains five tables. Table 1 is a list of parameters with associated symbols and units. Tables 2 to 5 are conversion charts. The original manuscript was prepared by Thomas J. Nicholson, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It was subsequently examined by the Ground-Water Glossary Working Group and experts within and outside the Federal Government, whose recommendations were accommodated where appropriate in the glossary. It is hoped that the glossary will aid in the communications between soil scientists, hydrologists, and hydrogeologists.

The terms defined in the glossary were selected after an extensive survey of glossaries and reports in the areas of (1) ground-water geology, hydraulics, and chemistry, (2) soil-water physics and chemistry, (3) contaminant transport, (4) unsaturated-zone hydrology, (5) chemistry and transport of solutes, and (6) ground-water quality. Some of the definitions have been modified for clarity from a variety of technical sources. Where more than one definition appears for the selected term, the first one was determined by the working group to be the most appropriate general definition, followed by other, more specialized, definitions. Some terms and definitions are not currently in use by all agencies; however, they are included in the glossary because they can be found in the literature. The reader is encouraged to consult with the original source cited for more explanatory comments. Additional regulatory definitions, which are underlined and are taken directly from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Federal laws (USC), were added following review by the various Federal agencies in May 1986.

The definitions and conversion charts are from two principal sources provided herein. The first is the 11Glossary11 compiled by A. I. Johnson in the 1981 report by the American Society of Testing and Materials titled Permeability and Groundwater Contaminant Transport. The second is Manu a 1 40, 11Ground-water Management, 11 produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Unnumbered Series
Subsurface-water flow and solute transport: federal glossary of selected terms
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
iii, 38 p.
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