Global Patterns of Groundwater Table Depth

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Science  22 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6122, pp. 940-943
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229881

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Water Flowing Underground

In addition to serving as an out-of-sight, yet much-needed water source, groundwater influences ecosystems on land—especially when the groundwater depth is shallow. Fan et al. (p. 940) used government archives and published studies to construct a global map of groundwater depth based on over 1,000,000 direct well measurements. A groundwater model was then used to construct a continuous global map of groundwater depth. The findings reveal the global influence of sea level and climate on groundwater depths across several regions and ecosystems.