The vadose zone is the undersaturated portion of the subsurface that lies above the groundwater table. The soil and rock in the vadose zone are not fully saturated with water; that is, the pores within them contain air as well as water. The vadose zone is often the main factor controlling water movement from the land surface to the aquifer. Thus it strongly affects the rate of aquifer recharge and is critical for the use and management of groundwater. Flow rates and chemical reactions in the vadose zone also control whether, where, and how fast contaminants enter groundwater supplies. Understanding of vadose-zone processes is therefore crucial in determining the amount and quality of groundwater that is available for human use.[