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The Celery Bog

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hydrologic cycle of celery bog

Hydrology of Celery Bog

Water vapor moves through the atmosphere, some of it condensing (turning to liquid water) to form clouds and precipitation. When this precipitation reaches land surfaces in and around the Celery Bog, the water can seep into the soil (infiltration) or move across the surface (runoff). Some of the water that infiltrates cannot travel down through the underlying till (dense glacial sediments) layers, thus it becomes shallow groundwater that helps keep the marsh wet in the dry part of the year. However, some of the water trickles through layers of till with intermingled lenses of sand and gravel, and eventually the water reaches aquifers (groundwater).

The water from the Celery Bog is a source for the Wabash (locally known as Teays) River Valley Aquifer, which provides the water that the City of West Lafayette and Purdue University utilize every day. This is a relatively large aquifer that is 6 miles wide and between 200 to 300 feet deep. The water is drawn up from underground via wellfields, and the aquifer has a capacity of about 18,000,000 gallons. As of 2001, the average amount of water drawn daily was a little over 10,000,000 gallons.  Aquifers have limits too - and care needs to be taken in the surrounding watersheds to ensure that both good water quantity and quality continues to feed the aquifer, our main source of water. 

Runoff can either travel to an area where it can pass through the soil, or it enters a body of water such as a marsh (in our case, the Celery Bog). Surface water can also travel back into the atmosphere before it has a chance to enter the ground (evaporation). Similarly, plants use water that infiltrates the soil and then release some of the water into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration. One single drop of water is recycled constantly through the hydrologic cycle by precipitation, runoff and/or infiltration, evaporation or transpiration, and again by precipitation.

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