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Alluvia—recharge process (inundation)

Alluvium Alluvium Moderate to high permeability rock Alluvia (saturated) Alluvia (saturated) Alluvia (unsaturated) Clay Direction of groundwater Direction of groundwater Direction of groundwater Direction of groundwater Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Subterranean GDEs Subterranean GDEs Surface expression GDEs Mixing of groundwater and surface water Fauna Stygofauna Direction of groundwater Direction of groundwater Direction of groundwater Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Fauna Fauna Subterranean GDEs Stygofauna Surface expression GDEs Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater Moderate to high permeability rock (unsaturated) Subterranean GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Terrestiral GDEs Surface expression GDEs Evapotranspiration Stygofauna Fauna Fauna Wetter periods of time Drier periods of time Stygofauna Clay Alluvium Moderate to high permeability rock Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater Infiltration and percolation Direction of groundwater Direction of groundwater Stygofauna Direction of groundwater Mixing of groundwater and surface water Stygofauna Melaleuaca  spp Melaleuaca  spp Groundwater discharge Melaleuaca  spp Melaleuaca  spp Melaleuaca  spp Melaleuaca  spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Eucalyptus spp Casuarina spp Casuarina spp Casuarina spp Casuarina spp Casuarina spp Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration Casuarina spp Eucalyptus spp Saturated Alluvia Drier periods of time Generic fractured hard rock or porous sedimentary rock Generic fractured hard rock or porous sedimentary rock Moderate to high permeability rock Alluvium Alluvium Alluvium Clay Moderate to high permeability rock (unsaturated) Alluvia (saturated) Alluvia (saturated) Alluvia (saturated) Groundwater level Moderate to high permeability rock

There are several processes that may occur individually or in conjunction with other processes to recharge groundwater in the alluvia: infiltration, discharge from surrounding water bearing geologies, and inundation. This conceptual model illustrates the recharge process of alluvial aquifers during inundation events (e.g. flooding).

  • During a flood event channel flow increases and water levels rise. This may result in groundwater in the alluvia and surrounding geologies being recharged from the channel (see top box).
  • After a flood event channel flow decreases and water levels drop. The additional groundwater stored in the alluvia and surrounding geologies will slowly discharge to the channel over time. During this period vegetation on terraces surrounding the channel may depend on the sub-surface presence of groundwater to meet some or all of their water requirements provided the vegetation can access the capillary zone (see middle box).
  • Recharge from surrounding fractured hard rock or porous sedimentary rock may assist in maintaining groundwater levels in the alluvia and supporting specialised aquatic fauna, stygofauna, which are groundwater dependent (see bottom box).

Pictorial conceptual model PDF


Last updated: 18 December 2015

This page should be cited as:

Alluvia—recharge process (inundation), WetlandInfo 2013, Queensland Government, Queensland, viewed 11 February 2019, <https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/aquatic-ecosystems-natural/groundwater-dependent/alluvia-recharge/>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science