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Recharge zones

Negligible groundwater movement Moderate to high permeability rock (saturated) Negligible groundwater movement Hydrology Hydrology Direction of surface water Flow Infiltration or percolation Flora Infiltration or percolation Direction of surface water flow Direction of surface water flow Negligible groundwater movement Moderate to high permeability rock (saturated) Moderate to high permeability rock (unsaturated) Moderate to high permeability rock (unsaturated) Low permeability rock (unsaturated) Low permeability rock (unsaturated)

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When water infiltrates a permeable land surface it percolates downwards through the unsaturated zone of permeable rock and/or sediment until it reaches the saturated zone, the top of which is called the groundwater table. Recharge zones refer to those areas where water infiltrates through the permeable rock and sediment but the saturated zone is at a depth where surface ecosystems (e.g. palustrine, lacustrine and riverine wetlands, riverine water bodies and terrestrial vegetation) are unable to access the groundwater. However, subterranean ecosystems (e.g. aquifer and cave ecosystems) underlying recharge areas may be groundwater dependent.

Pictorial conceptual model PDF


Last updated: 12 April 2017

This page should be cited as:

Recharge zones, WetlandInfo 2013, Queensland Government, Queensland, viewed 14 December 2018, <https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/aquatic-ecosystems-natural/groundwater-dependent/recharge-zones/>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science