aquifer

noun
aqui·​fer | \ ˈa-kwə-fər How to pronounce aquifer (audio) , ˈä-\

Definition of aquifer

: a water-bearing stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel

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Other Words from aquifer

aquiferous \ a-​ˈkwi-​fə-​rəs How to pronounce aquiferous (audio) , ä-​ \ adjective

Aquifer and Agriculture

The vast but relatively shallow Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath the Great Plains, under portions of eight states. Its thickness ranges from a few feet to more than a thousand feet. The Ogallala yields about 30 percent of the nation's groundwater used for irrigation in agriculture, and provides drinking water for most of the people within the area. But for many years more water has been extracted from the Ogallala than has been returned, and the situation today is of great concern.

Examples of aquifer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The risk lies in draining those aquifers at a rate that exceeds their replenishment. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "The Midwest's Farms Face an Intense, Crop-Killing Future," 18 June 2019 The epicenter of the earthquake was between 2 and 3 kilometers below the surface of the earth, well beneath aquifers and the zones of the earth that absorb rainwater. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland.com, "Could heavy rain have caused Cleveland earthquake?," 10 June 2019 Aside from water and air pollution, production requires four gallons of water for each ethanol gallon, risking depletion of the state’s aquifers, according to a club policy statement. Henry Goldman, Fortune, "Will Bill de Blasio's Backing a NYC Fur Ban Harm His Presidential Bid?," 5 June 2019 While acknowledging widespread public concern about quarries over aquifer recharge zones, Edwards Aquifer Authority General Manager Roland Ruiz noted the agency has no regulatory authority over them. Zeke Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Vulcan faces fight over projects in Comal and Kendall counties," 4 Mar. 2018 Around 20% of the United States is underlain by karst landscapes, according to the United States Geologic Survey, with 40% of groundwater used for drinking coming from karst aquifers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Cassini Found That Titan Has Lakes of Methane Resting on Giant Mesas," 16 Apr. 2019 Humid aquifers, like those in Florida, would be able to replenish themselves faster. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Could Turn Earth's Aquifers Into a Time Bomb," 22 Jan. 2019 Hewitt was rebuked by MSNBC bosses in May after Politico reported that his law firm brokered a meeting last year between the EPA and the lawyers for an Orange County water district grappling with the cleanup of a polluted aquifer. Stephen Battaglio, latimes.com, "MSNBC cancels conservative host Hugh Hewitt's Saturday show," 2 July 2018 The watering limits are designed to prevent overpumping of the aquifer, which is the main source of drinking water for 2 million people in the region. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio, other cities activate Stage 1 watering restrictions," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aquifer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aquifer

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aquifer

borrowed from French aquifère "water-bearing," from aqui- (from Latin aqua "water" + -i- -i-) + -fère "bearing" — more at aqua, -fer

Note: Term introduced into English by the geologist William Harmon Norton (1856-1944) in "Artesian Wells of Iowa," Iowa Geological Survey, vol. 6, Report on Lead, Zinc, Artesian Wells, etc. (Des Moines, 1897), p. 130: "The sand represents the permeable water-bearing layer, the aquifer, to revive a term of Arago's, and its outcrop between the basin rims the area of supply." "Arago" is the French physicist François Arago (1786-1853), whose essay "Sur les puits forés, connus sous le nom de puits artésiens, des fontaines artésiennes, ou de fontaines jaillissants" (Bureau des Longitudes, Annuaire pour l'an 1835 [Paris, 1834], pp. 181-258, is cited earlier in Norton's paper. As noted by Alfred Clebsch ("Analysis and Critique of 'Aquifers, Ground-Water Bodies, and Hydrophers' by C.V. Theis," Selected Contributions to Ground-Water Hydrology by C.V. Theis, and a Review of His Life and Work [U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2415] [Denver, 1994], pp. 39-43), Norton is not strictly speaking "reviving" anything used by Arago, who only uses aquifère as an adjective in the collocations nappe aquifère and couche aquifère (both meaning approximately "water-bearing layer"). Note that in an English translation of Arago's article ("On Springs, Artesian Wells, and Spouting Fountains," Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, vol. 18, no. 36 [April, 1835] there is no direct equivalent of aquifère, as couches aquifères is rendered by "water bearing beds" and nappe aquifère as simply "water."

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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The first known use of aquifer was in 1897

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More Definitions for aquifer

aquifer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of aquifer

technical : a layer of rock or sand that can absorb and hold water

More from Merriam-Webster on aquifer

Nglish: Translation of aquifer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aquifer

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