Mighty Red Pen

December 21, 2008

Between impermeable rock and a hard place

Filed under: Mad marketing,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 2:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

Mighty Quinn wrote to share this little tidbit, the label from a bottle of Fiji water (thank you for your patience with the blurry image):


Mighty Quinn observes, “Read the story and then look  at the picture.  The picture says the ‘artesian’ water is protected by ‘impermeable rock’; yet the story says the water flows through the volcanic rock . . . really?  Would you think, perhaps, permeable might have been a better
word choice?”

On the face of it, it seems that Mighty Quinn has a good question here. Looking at the diagram, it seems that the water flows through the volcanic rock and then magically appears in the aquifer which is, as MQ notes, surrounded by impermeable rock.

Although MRP took geology to satisfy an undergraduate science requirement, we are word nerds here and not rock scientists. So from that point of view, I would say MQ has a good point about the copy and illustration: The water cannot flow through impermeable rock as shown. I have a sneaking suspicion that the problem is a matter of representation (for example, it once was volcanic and it is now impermeable. As a for instance). But if there is anyone better versed in geology out there who could chime in (anyone? anyone?), please do.



  1. There is indeed impermeable rock involved. There is also permeable rock. The water collects in the latter, and it’s kept there by the impermeable rock beneath and around it. It’s not completely surrounded, or else the water couldn’t have gotten there in the first place. The “artesian aquifer” Wikipedia article has a good picture; the Fiji water bottle does not.

    Comment by Rob Kennedy — December 21, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  2. I drink Fiji water pretty regularly, and I never noticed the picture/text inconsistency. (Bad, editor! Bad! Bad! *Slaps hand*) You do realize that I’m now going to be scrutinizing every beverage bottle I buy.

    Anyway, good catch, Mighty Quinn!

    Comment by Editrix — December 21, 2008 @ 9:55 pm | Reply

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