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

Other Words from aquifer

aquiferous \ a-​ˈkwi-​fə-​rəs How to pronounce aquifer (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 Other critics said the water would be too expensive and wasn’t urgently needed in the area where it would be built, which is less dependent on state and federal water due to an ample aquifer and water recycling program. Amy Taxin, ajc, 13 May 2022 As a result, Bertetti expects the aquifer’s level to drop even more. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 Under California’s landmark 2014 groundwater law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, local agencies in areas where aquifer levels have been dropping are required to implement plans to address their overdraft problems by 2040. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued an aquifer protection plan permit to Pinyon Plain Mine on Thursday, putting the mine's operators a step closer to starting uranium extraction. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, 28 Apr. 2022 By August, Bachand and Cameron had sent more than 1,000 acre-feet of water back into the aquifer. Susie Cagle, Wired, 12 Apr. 2022 McMullin is beginning to install pump meters to track and trace every cubic foot coming out of the aquifer. Susie Cagle, Wired, 12 Apr. 2022 The Navy has been trying to clear petroleum from the contaminated well and pump it out of the aquifer. Audrey Mcavoy, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Feb. 2022 The method would involve pumping diluted sulfuric acid and other chemicals into an underground aquifer to dissolve copper deposits. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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: The term was 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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The first known use of aquifer was in 1897

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aquifer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aquifer. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of aquifer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aquifer

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