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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.
Last updated: 12 April 2017
This page should be cited as:
Recharge zones, WetlandInfo 2013, Queensland Government, Queensland, viewed 11 February 2019, .