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Encyclopedia > Vadose zone

The vadose zone, also termed the unsaturated zone, is the portion of Earth between the land surface and the water table, and is thus not considered groundwater ("vadose" is Latin for "shallow"). It comprises the unsaturated portion of the soil, regolith or bedrock, as well as the saturated capillary fringe above the water table. The pore spaces in the vadose zone are subject to atmospheric pressure, and so the water is held to the regolith and rock by adhesion (funiculary groundwater), and in pore spaces by capillary action (capillary groundwater). If the vadose zone envelops soil, the water contained therein is termed soil moisture. The water table is the upper limit of abundant groundwater. ... Groundwater is water flowing within aquifers below the water table. ... Latin is the language that was originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... For the heavy metal band see Soil (band) Soil is the layer of minerals and organic matter, in thickness from centimetres to a metre or more, on the land surface. ... Regolith is a layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock. ... This article is about the type of rock. ... Atmospheric pressure is the pressure caused by the weight of air above any area in the Earths atmosphere. ... Adhesion is the molecular attraction exerted between bodies in contact. ... Capillaries are the smallest of a bodys blood vessels. ... Soil moisture refers to water contained within the soil column of the vadose zone. ...


Movement of water within the vadose zone is studied within hydrology, particularly hydrogeology, and is of importance to agriculture and contaminant transport. Water covers 70% of the Earths surface. ... Hydrogeology (hydro- meaning water, and -geology meaning the study of rocks) is the part of hydrology that deals with the distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks of the Earths crust (commonly in Aquifers). ... The Lachine Canal, in Montreal, is badly polluted Pollution is the release of harmful environmental contaminants, or the substances so released. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Michael H. Young, Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute (732 words)
YoungÂ’s research interests and experience have focused on the movement of water and solutes in the vadose zone, soil water recharge in disturbed and undisturbed soil systems, determining hydraulic and transport properties of soils, designing systems for long-term monitoring of disposal sites (both radioactive and non-radioactive), and designing and implementing field-scale experimental facilities.
Evaluating the impacts of climate change on solute transport in the vadose zone of southern Nevada.
Vadose Zone J. Rasmussen, T.C., K.G. Haborak and M.H. Young.
USGS Water Resources: National Research Program (NRP) - unsaturated zone and temperature (2367 words)
A comprehensive understanding of the transport of water and chemicals between surface water, such as lakes and streams, and underlying ground water is essential for improved management of our Nation's water resources.
Andraski, B.J., Stonestrom, D.A., Michel, R.L., Halford, K.J., and Radyk, J.C., 2005, Plant-based plume-scale mapping of tritium contamination in desert soils: Vadose Zone Journal, v.
Walvoord, M.A., Stonestrom, D.A., Andraski, B.J., and Striegl, R.G., 2004, Constraining the inferred paleohydrologic evolution of a deep unsaturated zone in the Amargosa Desert: Vadose Zone Journal, v.
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