Influence of the vadose zone on groundwater pollution - A review

  • Banajarani Panda Department of Earth Sciences, Annamalai University, Tamilnadu, India -608002.
  • Chidambaram S Research Scientist, Water Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Safat, Kuwait.
Keywords: Groundwater pollution, vadose zone, unsaturated zone, contaminant transport

Abstract

The vadose zone is the geologic profile that lies between the water table and the ground surface. It has low water content relative to the saturated zone and commonly referred as the unsaturated zone. Recharge to the water table passes through the vadose zone and understanding transport through this region is critical in groundwater pollution studies. Groundwater pollution is controlled by a number of physical and chemical processes which may retard or transform contaminants as they pass through the vadose zone.  Porous materials hold water under tension as a component of soil structure, ambient fluid pressures and other factors. When vadose zone water content is below saturation, leakage liquid as well as the dissolved materials passed on in it are retained. Hydrologically, the depth of unsaturated zone plays an important role in controlling water movement and contaminant transport from the land surface to the aquifer. The purpose of this study is to present an overview of the principles of fluid flow and moisture retention in the vadose zone and its influence on groundwater pollution. The study is presented in two parts: Part I includes descriptions of zones of soil moisture, basic principles of properties controlling the fluid distribution in pore spaces and how subsurface soil properties can be used to assess the leachate mobility. Part II review the principle of fluid movement in the vadose zone and impact of seepage on groundwater pollution. This study will focus on how vadose zone conditions and soil properties act to control groundwater pollution.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

O.E. Meinzer, Outline of ground-water hydrology, US Geological Survey Water Supply Paper, 494 (1923) 5.

P.A. Holden and N. Fierer, Microbial processes in the vadose zone, Vadose. Zone. J., 4 (2005) 1-21.

J.R. Nimmo, Vadose water, Encyclopedia of Inland Water, 1 (2009) 766-777.

S Liu and T.C.J. Yeh, An integrative approach for monitoring water movement in the vadose zone, Vadose. Zone. J., 3 (2004) 681-692.

P.V. Roberts, P.L. McCarty, M. Reinhard and J. Schreiner, Organic Contamination Behavior During Groundwater Recharge, J. Water. Pollut. Control. Fed., 52 (1980) 161-172.

H. Bouwer, Effect of irrigated agriculture on groundwater, J. Irrig. Drain. Eng., 113 (1987) 4-15.

L.W. Dekker and C.J. Ritsema, How water moves in a water repellent sandy soil. 1. Potential and actual water repellency, Water Resour. Res., 30 (1994) 2507-2517.

C.W. Kreitler, Nitrogen-isotope ratio studies of soils and groundwater nitrate from alluvial fan aquifers, J. Hydrol., 42 (1979) 147-170.

C.W. Kreitler and L.A. Browning, Nitrogen-isotope analysis of groundwater nitrate in carbonate aquifers: natural sources versus human pollution, J. Hydrol., 61 (1983) 285-301.

J.R. Gormly and R.F. Spalding, Sources and Concentrations of Nitrate‚ÄźNitrogen in Ground Water of the Central Platte Region, Nebraska, Groundw., 17 (1979) 291-301.

C.W. Kreitler and D.C. Jones, Natural Soil Nitrate: The Cause of the Nitrate Contamination of Ground Water in Runnels County, Texas, Groundw., 13 (1975) 53-61.

J. Kong, P. Xin, G.F. Hua, Z.Y. Luo, C.J. Shen, D. Chen and L. Li, Effects of vadose zone on groundwater table fluctuations in unconfined aquifers, J. Hydrol., 528 (2015) 397-407.

S.M. Ariffin, M.A.M. Zawawi and H.C. Man, Evaluation of groundwater pollution risk (GPR) from agricultural activities using DRASTIC model and GIS, IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 37 (2016) 012078(1-22).

J.P. Martin and R.M. Koerner, The influence of vadose zone conditions in groundwater pollution: Part I: Basic principles and static conditions, J. Hazard. Mater., 8 (1984) 349-366.

J.P. Martin and R.M. Koerner, The influence of vadose zone conditions in groundwater pollution: Part II: Fluid movement, J. Hazard. Mater., 9(1984), 181-207

Published
2019-05-30