Table of Contents



Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition


1. Groundwater: The Big Picture

Key Terms

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Global Water Reservoirs and Fluxes

1.3 Terminology for Subsurface Waters

1.4 Fluxes Affecting Groundwater

1.5 Hydrologic Balance

1.6 Water and Groundwater Use

1.7 What Groundwater Scientists Do

1.8 Problems

2. Physical Properties

Key Terms

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Properties of Water

2.3 Properties of Air

2.4 Properties of Porous Media

2.5 Energy and Hydraulic Head

2.6 Measuring Hydraulic Head with Wells and Piezometers

2.7 Problems

3. Principles of Flow

Key Terms

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Darcy’s Law and Hydraulic Conductivity

3.3 Intrinsic Permeability and Conductivity of Other Fluids

3.4 Limits on the Application of Darcy’s Law

3.5 Heterogeneity and Anisotropy of Hydraulic Conductivity

3.6 Estimating Average Hydraulic Conductivities

3.7 Transmissivity

3.8 Measuring Hydraulic Conductivity

3.9 Flow in Fractured Rock

3.10 Unsaturated Flow

3.11 Flow of Groundwater with Variable Density

3.12 Problems

4. Field Exploration and Wells

Key Terms

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Exploring the Subsurface

4.3 Wells

4.4 Problems

5. Hydrology and Geology

Key Terms

5.1 General Patterns of Groundwater Flow

5.2 Surface Water Hydrology and Groundwater/Surface Water Interaction

5.3 Groundwater in Unconsolidated Deposits

5.4 Groundwater in Sedimentary Rocks

5.5 Groundwater in Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

5.6 Frozen Ground and Permafrost

5.7 Problems

6. Deformation, Storage, and General Flow Equations

Key Term


No. of pages:
© 2012
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Print ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the author

Charles Fitts

Charles R. Fitts is a professor at the University of Southern Maine with research interests in hydrogeology, contaminant migration, and applied mathematics. He earned an MS in engineering geology at Cornell and a PhD in civil engineering at the University of Minnesota. He has consulted for various geotechnical and groundwater companies, and is author of several groundwater modeling software packages: AnAqSim (analytic aquifer simulator) and TWODAN for groundwater flow, and SOLUTRANS for solute transport.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Southern Maine, Gorham, U.S.A.


2014 Textbook Excellence Award – 2nd or Later Edition, Text and Academic Authors Association


"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 co