Get to know your site

Describe your site

Photo: Close-up of water and gravel in streambed (from Nova)

Considering geology and hydrology

Salt accumulates and moves through a landscape by means of a complex array of inter-related physical and chemical processes. Those processes involve rocks, soil, rainfall, evaporation, groundwater, streams, ponds, topography, vegetation, and more. Understanding the processes can be difficult because of the conceptual challenges and because data that would help to clarify the situation often are unavailable or are expensive to obtain.

To pursue geological and hydrological studies of a landscape, one good approach would be to consult a knowledgeable and experienced geologist, hydrologist, geographer, or engineer. To learn more about the relevant process — either to help you with getting the right kind of assistance or to prepare yourself to undertake certain studies yourself — browse the educational materials provided via the Internet by the U.S. Geological Survey ( and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (

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