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water seeks its own level - I have questions

 
Posts: 151
Location: Scotts Valley, California Zone 9B
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dog trees bee
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I understand the basics of water seeking its own level. Easy to see with a clear hose. But I wonder how things work underground. If I have water running down the slope to a water basin and then it infiltrates underground...what happens next? Does the water continue to flow downhill underground (as well as overflowing the basin and downhill above ground) Does the water just sink in beneath the basin? Will it work its way backwards by "seeking its own level"?

I have a very crude picture that I hope helps with my questions.
Image1.png
[Thumbnail for Image1.png]
 
pollinator
Posts: 428
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Gravity is what it is.  Everything always goes down, unless it meets some resistance.  The only way it will travel according to your diagram, is if it hits a impermeable layer and there is less hydraulic pressure (drier soil) from the uphill side of that layer than the downhill.  There is a capillary action that can wick moisture against gravity because of the surface tension of the water, but it is a small effect.  Once the water is in the ground, it will move to the low pressure zone.  Uphill will normally be higher pressure due to water pressure exerting down force by farther up slope.  But there may be isolated 'pockets' where the uphill pressure is lower.

 
Susan Taylor Brown
Posts: 151
Location: Scotts Valley, California Zone 9B
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dog trees bee
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Thank you, Jack, for that perfectly easy to understand explanation. I feel better now about my plans.
 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Watch some groundwater models on YouTube to learn!


 
steward
Posts: 5521
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Susan Taylor Brown
Posts: 151
Location: Scotts Valley, California Zone 9B
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dog trees bee
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Craig, thank you so much for sharing those videos. It really helps. I am going to go look for more as I find it very fascinating.

Joseph, you made me smile. If I make a place for water, water will find its place in my soil.

We have had much digging going on for days and people walk by and ask me what I am doing (am I a crazy lady) and when I explain how I am not giving my water away if I can help it most of them are flabbergasted. A woman today said it never dawned on her to try and stop the water before it went down the storm drain. I wish we would teach this in school to our children.
 
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