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In soil science, permeable is a qualitative description for the ease with which water or some other fluid can pass through soil. Permeability in this context is a function not only of the total pore volume but also of the size and distribution of the pores. In geology, particularly with reference to groundwater , permeability is the ability of water to move through any water-bearing formation, rock, or unconsolidated material. This condition can be measured in the laboratory by measuring the volume of water that flows through a sample over a certain period of time.

See also Aquifer; Recharge zone; Soil profile; Vadose zone; Zone of saturation

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