In hydrology, throughflow, a subcomponent of interflow, is the lateral unsaturated flow of water in the soil zone, where a highly permeable geologic unit overlays a less permeable geologic unit, and which returns to the surface, as return flow, prior to entering a stream or groundwater.[1][2] Once water infiltrates into the soil, it is still affected by gravity and either infiltrates to the water table or travels downslope.[1] Throughflow usually occurs during peak hydrologic events, and flow rates are dependent on the hydraulic conductivity of the geologic medium.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Fetter, C. (2001). Applied Hydrogeology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. p. 41. ISBN 0130882399.
  2. Selby, M. (2005). Hillslope Materials and Processes. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 216. ISBN 0198741839.
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