Definition of vadose in English:



  • Relating to or denoting underground water above the water table.

    Compare with phreatic
    • ‘The way on was down some cascades leading to a small, low, vadose rift passage floored with boulders.’
    • ‘Follow this through a duck, into a drier section, and then immediately through a further low wet section that emerges into a very fine vadose canyon.’
    • ‘This soon rejoins the main passage, and before long the floor breaks through the porcellaneous band, and the passage develops into a somewhat more pleasant vadose trench.’
    • ‘The unit contains abundant evidence of subaerial exposure, including caliche crusts, desiccation cracks and vadose cements.’
    • ‘After a few metres, the floor turns to rock, and the passage exhibits signs of vadose entrenchment.’


Late 19th century: from Latin vadosus, from vadum shallow expanse of water.