The transport of most groundwater contaminants from the surface to the water table occurs in the aqueous phase; therefore, recharge is a significant control on aquifer sensitivity to contamination (Foster, 1998; Robins, 1998). Watertable recharge is controlled by the coupled processes of vertical soil-water infiltration through the unsaturated zone and unsaturated-zone storage. These processes are generally controlled by the characteristics of the land surface, the geologic matrix in the unsaturated zone, the hydrologic characteristics of the unsaturated zone, and land cover (Batelaan and De Smedt, 2007). Processes that control the migration of water into the subsurface can also control the migration of pollutants into the subsurface. Knowing where recharge rates are likely to be higher or lower within a larger watershed may lead to an improved basis for evaluating the sensitivity of the aquifer to contamination.
Letsinger, S. L., 2015, Map of Indiana showing near-surface aquifer sensitivity: Indiana Geological Survey Miscellaneous Map 93, scale 1:500,000.
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