Pinelands Water Glossary


to take in or soak in through pores (The Pinelands forest floor acts like a sponge as it readily absorbs moisture.)


soil or water that has a pH value of less than 7, a high concentration of hydrogen ions and contains very few nutrients (The water in the Pinelands is very acidic.)


very tiny green water plants with no true stems or leaves that can use sunlight to combine carbon dioxide and water to produce oxygen and sugar (Algae covered the surface of the pond.)

aquatic life

plants and animals living in the water (Pinelands aquatic life is limited to plants and animals that are adapted to the acidic water.)


a layer of sand and gravel beneath the earth's surf ace that has pore spaces saturated with water (The Cohansey aquifer is the major Pinelands aquifer.)


how an organism adjusts to its environment (The pitch pine has
developed adaptations to fire.)


yearly (The annual rainfall in the Pinelands is 45 inches.)


layer of air above us (The atmosphere above the Pinelands is relatively free of pollution.)


the force that makes water adhere to the surface of soil particles in the zone of aeration despite gravity (Plants depend on capillarity to provide them with a source of water.)

chemical properties

the chemical make-up of a substance (Many types of pollution such as acid rain change the chemical properties of water.)


the average daily weather condition in a given place over a long period of time (Most of the time the climate in the New Jersey Pinelands is mild.)

convection current

the circulatory movement of gas or liquid created by heat energy i.e. warm air rises and is replaced by cooler air (Wind is caused by -convection current, the replacing of warm air by cold air.)

control group

in a test or experiment, no change in standard conditions is allowed to happen to this group. The control group can then be compared to other groups which undergo a change from normal conditions because of the effects of experimental treatment (The plants in the control group were not given any additional fertilizer.)


the surroundings (both living and non-living) that affect the growth and general existence of living things (We can preserve the balanced ecosystem by caring for the environment.)


the process in which a liquid turns into a gas (The puddle disappeared because of evaporation.)

geomorphic province

an area of the earth's surface that has physical characteristics (The earth's surface within the Outer Coastal Plain, one of New Jersey's five geomorphic provinces, is relatively level and crisscrossed by winding streams and rivers.)


the energy that attracts or pulls matter toward the center of the earth or from higher to lower elevations (The headwaters of the Mullica River, a major Pinelands river, is about 150 feet above sea level and the force of gravity gradually pulls this body of water eastward to sea level.)


water beneath the earth's surface that fills the pore spaces in and around the sand, gravel, and/or rocks that make up a geologic formation (The heavy August rainfall increased the groundwater content in New Jersey's Pinelands.)


a place where an organism lives (The wetlands provides habitats for 80% of Pinelands rare plants and animals.)


forested land that naturally protects the groundwater under it (Pinelands cranberry farmers need approximately 10 acres of headland to safeguard the water supply needed for one acre of bog.)


brown or black materials formed from the partial decomposition of plant and animal matter (Humates help to give Pinelands water its brown color.)


moisture (H 2 0) in the air, usually measured in percentage (The high humidity caused a fog to form over the lake.)

hydrologic (water) cycle

the process during which the sun's energy causes water from sources like oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, soil, and vegetation to evaporate into the air where it gradually cools and falls to the earth as rain, snow, hail, or sleet. (Stream flow in New Jersey's Pinelands rivers depends on rain that falls as part of the hydrologic cycle.)


not allowing movement or passage through a substance (The groundwater was unable to move through the impermeable clay layer. )


the passing of water to the water table (The infiltration of water into the ground happens quickly in the sandy soil of the Pinelands.)

light penetration

how much light can pass through a material, such as water (Not much light penetration takes place when water is dark and filled with humates.)


the physical space where a species lives as well as what a species does in the ecosystem (The earthworm's niche is moist soil where its burrowing aerates and mixes the organic soil material.)

Outer Coastal Plain

one of New Jersey's five geomorphic provinces characterized by relatively level terrain crisscrossed by winding streams and rivers and predominantly sandy soil. (The 1.1 million acre Pinelands National Reserve is located within the boundaries of New Jersey's Outer Coastal Plain.)


to pass through small holes or a porous substance (Rain water can easily percolate through the porous, sandy soil of New Jersey's Pinelands.)


capable of allowing flow or movement of a liquid such as water through pore spaces (Because of the ease with which liquids may move through the numerous large pore spaces of the sandy Pinelands soils, they are said to be highly permeable.)


containing phosphorus; a measure of the strength of an acidic or basic substance (Pinelands water is considered acidic because it usually has a low pH.)


containing phosphorus; one of the chemicals needed for plant growth; they often pollute water because they cause too much plant growth (Many cleaning products still contain phosphates.)


process by which plants make food (Plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide In photosynthesis.)

physical properties

characteristics of a material that can be observed through sight, touch or smell (The reddish-brown color of Pinelands water is a physical property.)


a chemical or physical component found in water, land or air that makes conditions less favorable for living things (Improper fertilizer application can act as a pollutant.)


the percentage of pore spaces in an aquifer that can be filled with water (Because the sandy soils of the Pinelands store water readily, they are said to have a high percentage of porosity.)


rainfall, snow, sleet, etc. (The desert receives little precipitation annually.)

Preservation Area

an area whose boundaries are defined by New Jersey's Pinelands Protection Act. It is the area of the Pinelands that has been least developed and it includes 368,000 acres of semi-wilderness (Most of the streams and rivers in the Preservation Area are part of the Mullica River watershed.)


refill, replenish (Groundwater recharge occurs readily in the sandy soil of New Jersey's Pinelands.)


water collected in a natural or artificial containment that may be used as the water supply for a town, agricultural crop, etc. (Oswego Lake is a reservoir that provides water for several cranberry bogs in Burlington County, New Jersey.)


water which moves downhill over the earth's surface (Runoff can cause erosion of the land.)


type of climate found in the Pinelands characterized by moderate temperatures and precipitation (The temperate climate of the Pinelands helps to determine what plants and animals will live there.)


water taken up by plants and given off in the atmosphere as water vapor (Droplets of water formed on the inside of the glass greenhouse because of plant transpiration.)

water table

the upper surface of ground water (The drought lowered the area's water table.)


the condition of the atmosphere at any given time (The weather tomorrow is expected to be cold, windy, and clear.)


low land that is mostly swampy due to the f act that the water table is at or near the earth's surface (Wetlands are often found near a stream or lake.)

zone of aeration

the area between the earth's surface and the water table where most of the pore spaces between the sand, gravel, and/or rocks are filled with air (February is often a cold, dry month in New Jersey's Pinelands ' a time when little or no moisture is found in the zone of aeration.)

zone of saturation

the area beneath the zone of aeration in which all the pore spaces (openings) between the sand, gravel, and/or rocks are filled with water (The amount of water in the zone of saturation increases during the rainy spring months in New Jersey's Pinelands.)