potentiometric surface

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A hypothetical surface defined by the level to which water in a confined aquifer rises in observation boreholes. In practice, the potentiometric surface is mapped by interpolation between borehole measurements. As with the water-table in an unconfined aquifer, the slope of the potentiometric surface defines the hydraulic gradient and the horizontal direction of groundwater flow. See hydraulic head.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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