how does dirt become oversaturated?



Wouldn’t the water just go deeper underground and let more water in?

In: Earth Science

In some places yea, but in other places, places where you run into problems with oversaturated dirt, no.

Water can’t flow through everything, and even things it can flow through, that doesn’t mean it can flow through it well.

So if beneath that dirt there’s some real solid rock, there is no where for the water to go deeper.

Or, if there’s a layer of really fine clay, yes the water can still get through it, but at a trickling pace. So a lot of water will back up.

Or alternatively, some areas also have really high water tables, usually because there’s some form or impermeable layer down underneath the soil, so it holds all the water up, or if you’re close to the coast the water table can stay pretty high and water can trickle into the soil from the ocean.

In those cases, the soil can become overstayers very quickly, it’s like pouring water on an already wet sponge, there just simply isn’t enough room for it.