Groundwater recharge and near-surface hydrology
Convener: Mark Bakker  | Co-Conveners: Mike Kirkby , John Nieber 
Oral Programme
 / Wed, 05 May, 10:30–12:00  / Room 38
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Wed, 05 May, 17:30–19:00  / Hall A
Recharge of aquifers can only occur where excess water is able to
penetrate beyond the reach of plant roots and shallow sub-surface flow. The rate and generic behavior of recharge lie at the interface of understanding between hillslope, vadose zone, groundwater, and eco hydrology. Hillslope and karstic recharge may be driven by water infiltrating during major storm events, particularly in semi-arid areas. In colder regions, snow melt may be the dominant factor. Catchment hydrologists may view 'subsurface runoff' as a simple loss term, while groundwater modelers may approximate 'recharge' merely as a fraction of rainfall. Both groups try to quantify the complicated, non-linear process of that part of the rainfall that makes it through the vadose zone to the groundwater table. The study of recharge is inherently a multi-disciplinary field where experts in catchment hydrology, vadose zone hydrology, and groundwater hydrology need to work together.
The purpose of this session is to bring these different groups together and to discuss recent advances in the spatial and temporal modeling of groundwater recharge. Relevant issues include:
- up and downslope relations; water storage and adaptive strategies for trees;
- signature in head fluctuations; alternatives for Richards equation;
- chemical signatures and residence times; hyporheic exchange below ephemeral streams; and
- the partition of flow between trees, shrubs and herb layers.