The Visual Water Dictionary: Plume

The Visual Water Dictionary attempts to cut confusion on ambiguous water terminology with easy visual references.

Today’s Term: Plume

Plume is an underground pattern of contaminant concentrations created by the movement of groundwater beneath a contaminant source, with the contaminants spreading in the direction of groundwater movement.  The source site has the highest concentration, and the concentration decreases and dissipates away from the source.

Diagram of a polluted groundwater plume (via

Diagram of a polluted groundwater plume (via

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: F
(Major points deducted for threat to water quality, sneakiness and long-winded disputes over “who’s going to clean up this mess?” )

Often confused with…

A chapeau with Plume by Givenchy (via

A Plume is a feathery accessory attached to a hat or other headgear. This plume floats merrily along with the direction of the wearer, and tends to disrupt the concentration and sight lines of other persons near the Plume’s source.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: B
(Minor points deducted for the laughing and finger-pointing that modern Plume wearers must endure.)

Previous entries in the Visual Water Dictionary:

Mixed Liquor