Groundwater Science


  • Charles Fitts, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, U.S.A.

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

View full description


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.


Book information

  • Published: August 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-384705-8


"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

Table of Contents

1. Groundwater: The Big Picture
2. Physical Properties
3. Principles of Flow
4. Field Exploration and Wells
5. Hydrology and Geology
6. Deformation, Storage, and General Flow Equations
7. Modeling Steady Flow with Basic Methods
8. Modeling Transient Well Hydraulics and Mounding
9. Computer-Assisted Flow Modeling
10. Groundwater Chemistry
11. Groundwater Contamination
12. Subsurface Heat Flow and Geothermal Energy
Appendix A: Units and Conversions
Appendix B: Mathematics Primer
Appendix C: Book Website
Answers to Selected Problems