Definitions for Cone of depression

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  1. Cone of depression

    A cone of depression occurs in an aquifer when groundwater is pumped from a well. In an unconfined aquifer, this is an actual depression of the water levels. In confined aquifers, the cone of depression is a reduction in the pressure head surrounding the pumped well. When a well is pumped, the water level in the well is lowered. By lowering this water level, a gradient occurs between the water in the surrounding aquifer and the water in the well. Because water flows from high to low water levels or pressure, this gradient produces a flow from the surrounding aquifer into the well. As the water flows into the well, the water levels or pressure in the aquifer around the well decrease. The amount of this decline becomes less with distance from the well, resulting in a cone-shaped depression radiating away from the well. This, in appearance, is similar to the effect one sees when the plug is pulled from a bathtub. This conical-shaped feature is the cone of depression.


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