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|water table |
The upper surface of an area filled with groundwater, separating the zone of aeration (the subsurface region of soil and rocks in which the pores are filled with air and usually some water) from the zone of saturation (the subsurface region in which the pores are filled only with water). Water tables rise and fall with seasonal moisture, water absorption by vegetation, and the withdrawal of groundwater from wells, among other factors. The water table is not flat but has peaks and valleys that generally conform to the overlying land surface. Compare potentiometric surface.
The depth (measured from the surface of the Earth) at which underground water is first encountered.