Direct measurements of floodwater infiltration into shallow alluvial aquifers

Ofer Dahan, Yuval Shani, Yehouda Enzel, Yoseph Yechieli, Alex Yakirevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The relationship between floodwater infiltration and groundwater recharge of a shallow alluvial aquifer in a hyper-arid desert was studied in the Arava valley, Israel. The study implemented an experimental system that simultaneously monitors all three hydrological domains controlling the recharge process: (1) floodwater stages on land surface, (2) water-content variations in the deep vadose zone, and (3) groundwater response to the infiltration. This experimental system makes use of a new technique for installing flexible time-domain reflectometry probes for continuous monitoring of the vadose zone moisture profiles. Water infiltration was monitored in controlled infiltration experiments and during a natural flood. The monitoring setup allowed real-time tracking of the wetting-front propagation velocities and assessment of water fluxes through the vadose zone. The results revealed a complex infiltration process that includes matrix and preferential flow together with lateral flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2007


  • Arid land
  • Flood
  • Groundwater
  • Infiltration
  • Recharge
  • Vadose zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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