Groundwater Science, 2nd Edition

Groundwater Science, 2nd Edition,Charles Fitts,ISBN9780123847058


Academic Press




240 X 197

A top-ranking textbook that introduces groundwater’s role in the hydrologic cycle and in water supply, contamination, and construction issues, with wide specific applicability and examples derived from and relevant to the geosciences

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Key Features

  • Winner of a 2014 Texty Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association
  • Features two-color figures
  • Includes homework problems at the end of each chapter and worked examples throughout
  • Provides a companion website with videos of field exploration and contaminant migration experiments, PDF files of USGS reports, and data files for homework problems
  • Offers PowerPoint slides and solution manual for adopting faculty


Groundwater Science, Second Edition—winner of a 2014 Textbook Excellence Award (Texty) from The Text and Academic Authors Association—covers groundwater's role in the hydrologic cycle and in water supply, contamination, and construction issues. It is a valuable resource for students and instructors in the geosciences (with focuses in hydrology, hydrogeology, and environmental science), and as a reference work for professional researchers. This interdisciplinary text weaves important methods and applications from the disciplines of physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, biology, and environmental science, introducing you to the mathematical modeling and contaminant flow of groundwater.

New to the Second Edition:

  • New chapter on subsurface heat flow and geothermal systems
  • Expanded content on well construction and design, surface water hydrology, groundwater/ surface water interaction, slug tests, pumping tests, and mounding analysis.
  • Updated discussions of groundwater modeling, calibration, parameter estimation, and uncertainty
  • Free software tools for slug test analysis, pumping test analysis, and aquifer modeling
  • Lists of key terms and chapter contents at the start of each chapter
  • Expanded end-of-chapter problems, including more conceptual questions


Primary: graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in groundwater science, hydrogeology and (as secondary academic market) civil engineering. Secondary: the professional market for this title is as a reference for geoscientists and researchers in academe and industry.

Charles Fitts

Charles R. Fitts is a professor at the University of Southern Maine with research interests in hydrogeology, contaminant migration, and applied mathematics. He earned an MS in engineering geology at Cornell and a PhD in civil engineering at the University of Minnesota. He has consulted for various geotechnical and groundwater companies, and is author of several groundwater modeling software packages: AnAqSim (analytic aquifer simulator) and TWODAN for groundwater flow, and SOLUTRANS for solute transport.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Southern Maine, Gorham, U.S.A.

Groundwater Science, 2nd Edition



Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition


1. Groundwater: The Big Picture

Key Terms

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Global Water Reservoirs and Fluxes

1.3 Terminology for Subsurface Waters

1.4 Fluxes Affecting Groundwater

1.5 Hydrologic Balance

1.6 Water and Groundwater Use

1.7 What Groundwater Scientists Do

1.8 Problems

2. Physical Properties

Key Terms

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Properties of Water

2.3 Properties of Air

2.4 Properties of Porous Media

2.5 Energy and Hydraulic Head

2.6 Measuring Hydraulic Head with Wells and Piezometers

2.7 Problems

3. Principles of Flow

Key Terms

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Darcy’s Law and Hydraulic Conductivity

3.3 Intrinsic Permeability and Conductivity of Other Fluids

3.4 Limits on the Application of Darcy’s Law

3.5 Heterogeneity and Anisotropy of Hydraulic Conductivity

3.6 Estimating Average Hydraulic Conductivities

3.7 Transmissivity

3.8 Measuring Hydraulic Conductivity

3.9 Flow in Fractured Rock

3.10 Unsaturated Flow

3.11 Flow of Groundwater with Variable Density

3.12 Problems

4. Field Exploration and Wells

Key Terms

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Exploring the Subsurface

4.3 Wells

4.4 Problems

5. Hydrology and Geology

Key Terms

5.1 General Patterns of Groundwater Flow

5.2 Surface Water Hydrology and Groundwater/Surface Water Interaction

5.3 Groundwater in Unconsolidated Deposits

5.4 Groundwater in Sedimentary Rocks

5.5 Groundwater in Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

5.6 Frozen Ground and Permafrost

5.7 Problems

6. Deformation, Storage, and General Flow Equations

Key Terms

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Effective Stress

6.3 Atmospheric Pressure Fluctuations

6.4 Excavation Instability and Liquefaction

6.5 Slope Instability

6.6 Earthquakes and Groundwater Pressures

6.7 Matrix Compression

6.8 Changes in Subsurface Water Storage

6.9 General Flow Equations

6.10 Overview of Mathematical Modeling

6.11 Problems

7. Modeling Steady Flow with Basic Methods

Key Terms

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Aquifers with Uniform Transmissivity

7.3 Vertical Plane Flow

7.4 Flow Net Graphical Solutions

7.5 Unconfined Aquifers with a Horizontal Base

7.6 Problems

8. Modeling Transient Well Hydraulics and Mounding

Key Terms

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Slug Tests

8.3 Transient Response of Aquifers to Pumping

8.4 Pumping Test Analysis

8.5 Additional Considerations for Pumping Tests

8.6 Transient Mounding under a Rectangular Recharge Area

8.7 Problems

9. Computer-Assisted Flow Modeling

Key Terms

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Finite Difference Method

9.3 Finite Element Method

9.4 Analytic Element Method

9.5 Strengths and Limitations of These Methods

9.6 Modeling Process

9.7 Problems

10. Groundwater Chemistry

Key Terms

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Molecular Properties of Water

10.3 Solute Concentration Units

10.4 Natural Solutes

10.5 Chemical Reactions

10.6 Mineral Dissolution and Precipitation

10.7 Gas–Water Partitioning

10.8 Aqueous-Phase Reactions

10.9 Sorption

10.10 Isotopes

10.11 Examples of Natural Groundwater Chemistry Processes

10.12 Problems

11. Groundwater Contamination

Key Terms

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Contamination Sources

11.3 Organic Contaminants

11.4 Nonaqueous-Phase Liquids

11.5 Solute Transport Processes

11.6 Case Studies of Solute Transport

11.7 Modeling Solute Transport

11.8 Investigating Contamination

11.9 Remediating Contamination

11.10 Problems

12. Subsurface Heat Flow and Geothermal Energy

Key Terms

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Energy and Heat Flow Processes

12.3 Crustal Temperatures and Heat Flow

12.4 Shallow Temperatures

12.5 Hydrothermal Systems and Geysers

12.6 Geothermal Energy

12.7 Problems

Appendix A: Units and Conversions

A.1 Length [L]

A.2 Area [L2]

A.3 Volume [L3]

A.4 Time [T]

A.5 Mass [M] and Weight [ML/T2] at Earth’s Surface

A.6 Force [ML/T2]

A.7 Pressure or Stress [M/LT2]

A.8 Energy [ML2/T2]

A.9 Power [ML2/T3]

A.10 Angle

A.11 Temperature

A.12 Velocity and Hydraulic Conductivity [L/T]

A.13 Transmissivity [L2/T]

A.14 Discharge (Flow Rate) [L3/T]

A.15 Unit Prefixes

A.16 Performing Unit Conversions

Appendix B: Mathematics Primer

B.1 Algebra and Geometry

B.2 Functions of One Variable

B.3 Formulas for Common Derivatives

B.4 Functions of Two or More Variables

Appendix C: Book Website

Answers to Selected Problems

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12



Quotes and reviews

"The 2nd edition of Groundwater Science by Charles R.Fitts includes a wealth of new and updated materials both in the book and on the web…Fitts’ book is excellently written for use in an introductory groundwater course, particularly at the undergraduate level." --Groundwater, September-October 2013

Praise for the first edition:
"Groundwater Science would serve well as the text for an introductory groundwater course...The graphics are crisp and explanatory. Data sets needed to work some of the problems in the book are available as text files from the book's Web Site...I found these files to be complete and easy to understand. The references are up to date...concise, well-written, and well-illustrated..." --Sean A. McKenna, Sanda National Labs, EOS TRANSACTIONS, July 2003

"Groundwater Science is presented in a clear, logical manner, with attractive, effective typeset, and crisp diagrams...I strongly endorse this book for those entering the world of groundwater science for the first time." --David Sharpe, Geological Survey of Canada Episodes, December 2002

"The writing is clear and accurate without being wordy... The figures, references, and indexing are also well done. The references include both classics and recent papers, with broad coverage...It's not easy to do so many topics well, but Fitts' book succeeds." --Laura Toran, for GROUND WATER, 2003

"Fitts takes a decidedly lean and focused approach to the subject. The figures have a crisp and uncluttered look to them. The writing and presentation is clear and economical. Fitts stresses concepts over formal development, avoiding derivations and mathematics where possible. I found his approach to be very effective, and expect it would appeal to the learning style of most students who need to first establish a simple, concrete foundation, supported by their own intuition, before they can abstract concepts in mathematical expressions...Groundwater Science is a good text for an introductory course in groundwater." --Roger Beckie, University of British Columbia, for VADOSE ZONE JOURNAL, November 2003

"This text should find a suitable market in ground water science, especially with those instructors who prefer more mathematical or engineering perspectives to the subject. Although the text stresses mathematical modeling and contaminant flow, the overall balance provided by the geological perspective from Chapter 4 makes it a suitable choice for any instructor needing a comprehensive, visually appealing, well organized, and well supported textbook on ground water." --Robert A. Vargo, Department of Earth Science, California University, for the Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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