The comparatively dry soil or rock located between the ground surface and the top of the Water Table. A zone immediately below the surface of the ground, in which the openings are partially filled with air, and partially with water trapped by molecular attraction. Generally subdivided into: (a) belt of soil moisture; (b) intermediate belt; and (c) capillary fringe. Also referred to as the Unsaturated Zone or the Vadose Zone.
Zone in soil that is not saturated with water and lies above the water table. See water table, zone of saturation.
The layer in the ground above the water table where the available voids are filled with air. Water falling on the ground percolates through this zone on its way to the aquifer.