Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Effect of watertable depth on evaporation and salt accumulation from saline groundwater

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Derek Rose, John Gowing


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


When the evaporative demand is greater than the ability of the soil to conduct water in the liquid phase, the soil profile above a watertable exhibits a liquid-vapour discontinuity, known as the evaporation front, that affects the depth of salinisation and the rate of evaporation. We conducted experiments on a sandy loam with shallow saline watertables under high isothermal evaporative demand (24 mm/day), monitoring rates of evaporation from the soil and upward movement of groundwater, and observing profiles of soil water and salinity over periods of up to 78 days. Three zones were distinguished in the soil profile: a zone of liquid flow above the watertable, a zone of vapour flow close to the surface, and an intermediate transition zone in which mixed liquid-vapour flow occurred. The vapour-flow zone above the evaporation front appeared after a few days and progressed downward to depths of 40, 60, and 120 mm, while eventual steady-state rates of evaporation were 1.3, 1.1, and 0.3 mm/day for watertable depths of 300, 450, and 700 mm, respectively. Salts mainly accumulated in the transition zone, suggesting that the depth of the evaporation front should be a criterion to locate and prevent salinisation as a result of capillary flow from a watertable in arid regions. © CSIRO 2005.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rose DA, Konukcu F, Gowing JW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Australian Journal of Soil Research

Year: 2005

Volume: 43

Issue: 5

Pages: 565-573

Print publication date: 01/01/2005

ISSN (print): 0004-9573

ISSN (electronic): 1446-568X

Publisher: C S I R O Publishing


DOI: 10.1071/SR04051


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric