Water beneath the Earth's surface is generally referred to as groundwater. Groundwater is stored in the small spaces between rocks and sediment deep underground, in formations called aquifers. Aquifers can be layers of porous rock like limestone or sandstone, or they can be underground layers of unconsolidated materials such as gravel, sand, or silt.
Groundwater originates from rain and snowmelt that infiltrates the ground and percolates down through soil and rock layers. As it travels through the ground, it fills the spaces and cracks within the rocks, much as water fills the holes in a sponge.
The upper surface of the saturated zone is called the water table. Above the water table lies the unsaturated zone, where the spaces between soil particles and rocks are filled with both air and water. Below the water table, all the spaces are filled with water, and this is where groundwater is found.
The movement of groundwater is much slower than the flow of water on the Earth's surface, and it can travel in any direction, although it generally follows the slope of the land, moving from higher elevations to lower elevations.
People can access groundwater through wells that are drilled deep enough to reach an aquifer. Groundwater is an essential source of water for irrigation and is also a crucial drinking water resource for many communities around the world.
Water found under the Earth's surface is known as groundwater. Groundwater is water that is located in the pores and fractures of soil, sand, and rock. It is an essential part of the water cycle. This water can come from precipitation like rain and snow that seeps down through the ground. The upper surface of the saturated zone, where all the spaces are filled with water, is called the water table. Below this water table, the soil or rock is saturated with water. The water in this saturated zone is groundwater.