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Article

Influence of Multi-Layered Structure of Vadose Zone on Ecological Effect of Groundwater in Arid Area: A Case Study of Shiyang River Basin, Northwest China

1
Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
2
China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
3
Key Laboratory of Groundwater Sciences and Engineering, Ministry of Natural Resources, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
4
School of Water Resources and Environment, Hebei University of Geosciences, Shijiazhuang 050031, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adriana Bruggeman
Water 2022, 14(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010059
Received: 5 November 2021 / Revised: 24 December 2021 / Accepted: 24 December 2021 / Published: 28 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrogeology)
The natural vegetation in arid areas of northwest China is strongly dependent on the availability of groundwater. Significantly, capillary water plays an essential role in regulating the ecological groundwater level in the multilayered structure of the vadose zone. The soil-column test and field survey in the lower reaches of the Shiyang River Basin were conducted to investigate the influence of the multi-layered structure of the vadose zone on maintaining the ecological effect of groundwater. Based on the field survey, the results show that the depth of groundwater is 3.0 m, and the rising height of capillary water is 140 cm. In the soil-column test, the height of the wetting front of the column was 125 cm. During the water releasing test, the water held by the vadose zone was 182.54 mm, which would have maintained Haloxylon’s survival in a growing season. Therefore, the multi-layered structure of the vadose zone extends the ecological groundwater depth and consequently enhances the ecological function of groundwater. Importantly, with a lower groundwater level, the clay soil layer within the rising height range of the original capillary water would hold more water and maintain a higher water content for a certain period to supply surface vegetation. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological groundwater level; vadose zone; multi-layered structure; capillary water; water content; soil column test; ecological effect; Shiyang River Basin ecological groundwater level; vadose zone; multi-layered structure; capillary water; water content; soil column test; ecological effect; Shiyang River Basin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cui, H.; Zhang, G.; Wang, J.; Wang, Q.; Lang, X. Influence of Multi-Layered Structure of Vadose Zone on Ecological Effect of Groundwater in Arid Area: A Case Study of Shiyang River Basin, Northwest China. Water 2022, 14, 59. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010059

AMA Style

Cui H, Zhang G, Wang J, Wang Q, Lang X. Influence of Multi-Layered Structure of Vadose Zone on Ecological Effect of Groundwater in Arid Area: A Case Study of Shiyang River Basin, Northwest China. Water. 2022; 14(1):59. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010059

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cui, Haohao, Guanghui Zhang, Jinzhe Wang, Qian Wang, and Xujuan Lang. 2022. "Influence of Multi-Layered Structure of Vadose Zone on Ecological Effect of Groundwater in Arid Area: A Case Study of Shiyang River Basin, Northwest China" Water 14, no. 1: 59. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010059

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