Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert

Spring Settings

  • Gail M. AshleyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_162


Groundwater discharge


Spring: a localized discharge of groundwater disgorging from a point source.

Seep: multisource discharge of groundwater as a “spring line” or a broad, diffuse wet area.

Spring-fed river: a drainage way that may contain perennial flow sourced by groundwater despite a negative hydrologic budget.

Spring-fed wetland: an area sourced by groundwater that comprises perennially damp ground and/or standing, shallow water supporting aquatic vegetation.

Aquifer: a geologic formation that contains sufficient saturated permeable material to yield significant quantities of water to springs or wells.


Geology of springs

A spring is a localized discharge of groundwater disgorging onto the Earth’s surface. The source of the groundwater may be a great distance (tens to hundreds of kilometers) away, and the water may move at a slow rate (meters/year). There are varied natural geologic settings that result in groundwater flowing onto the surface, thereby...
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA