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Kansas Geological Survey, Public Information Circular (PIC) 9


Glossary

Conjunctive management: An approach to the management of ground and surface waters that maximizes the net benefits from both resources over time.

Discharge: The movement of ground water to the land surface, surface water, or atmosphere.

Evapotranspiration: A collective term for water that moves into the atmosphere from evaporation from land or water and from transpiration from plants.

High Plains aquifer: In Kansas, three, hydraulically connected but distinct aquifers: the Ogallala, Great Bend Prairie, and Equus Beds aquifers. In general, the Ogallala Formation is made up of unconsolidated sand, gravel, silt, and clay deposited by streams that flowed east from the Rocky Mountains during the Pliocene Epoch. The Great Bend Prairie and Equus Beds aquifers are also composed of silt, clay, sand, and gravel deposits left by streams flowing through central Kansas, but these deposits are generally younger (Pleistocene and Holocene) than the Ogallala. In some areas, these aquifers are in contact with each other and thus form one continuous aquifer.

Hydrologic cycle: The constant circulation of water from the earth's surface, through the atmosphere, to the earth's surface, and back to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation.

Hydrology: The study of the characteristics and occurrence of water, and the hydrologic cycle. Hydrology concerns the science of surface and ground waters, whereas hydrogeology principally focuses on ground water.

Recharge: The replenishment of water to an aquifer.

Saturated thickness: The vertical thickness of an aquifer that is full of water. The upper surface is the water table.

Watershed: The area of land drained by a single stream or river.


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Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach
1930 Constant Ave., Lawrence, KS 66047-3726
Phone: (785) 864-3965, Fax: (785) 864-5317
bsawin@kgs.ku.edu
Web version February 1998
http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/pic9/pic9_5.html