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Catchment constrictions

Permeable rocks Alluvia overview Negligible groundwater movement Direction of surface water movement outside of a channel Fractured rocks Eucalyptus spp Melaleuca spp Melaleuca spp Eucalyptus spp Fish Mixing of groundwater and surface water Surface expression GDE Negligible groundwater movement Catchment throat Surface expression GDE Wetland Corymbia spp Corymbia spp Melaleuca spp Melaleuca spp Melaleuca spp Melaleuca spp Eucalyptus spp Infiltration and percolation Infiltration and percolation Evapotranspiration Eucalyptus spp Negligible groundwater movement Direction of grounwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Subterranean GDE Terrestrial GDE Fish Surface expression GDE Direction of surface water movement outside of a channel Direction of surface water movement outside of a channel Direction of surface water movement outside of a channel Direction of surface water movement outside of a channel Direction of surface water movement in the channel Infiltration and percolation Low permeability rock (unsaturated) Moderate to high permeability rock (saturated) Alluia (saturated) Alluvia (unsaturated) Alluvia Moderate to high permeability rock (unsaturated)

Negligible groundwater movement Low permeability rock (unsaturated) Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Negligible groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Direction of groundwater movement Low permeability rock (unsaturated) Moderate to high permeability rock (saturated) Moderate to high permeability rock (saturated) Alluvia

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Catchment constrictions are a narrowing in the width and/or depth of the catchment resulting in the formation of a catchment ‘throat’ which acts as a bottle-neck. Often groundwater above a catchment constriction is shallower due to the restriction of groundwater flow through the constriction point. There may also be a widening of the floodplain up-gradient of a catchment constriction due to the restriction of sediment flow through the constriction point.

Unconsolidated sedimentary aquifers may provide a range of ecosystems with water required to support their faunal and floral communities, ecological processes and delivery of ecosystem services.

  • Palustrine (e.g. swamps), lacustrine (e.g. lakes) and riverine (e.g. streams and rivers) wetlands located up-gradient of a catchment constriction may depend on the surface expression of groundwater from these underlying alluvial aquifers.
  • Terrestrial vegetation located up-gradient of a catchment constriction may depend on the subsurface presence of groundwater, typically using deep roots to access groundwater in the capillary zone above the water table of underlying alluvial aquifers.

Pictorial conceptual model PDF


Last updated: 18 December 2015

This page should be cited as:

Catchment constrictions, WetlandInfo 2013, Queensland Government, Queensland, viewed 12 September 2017, <https://wetlandinfo.ehp.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/aquatic-ecosystems-natural/groundwater-dependent/catchment-constrictions/>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Heritage Protection