interflow

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interflow

[′in·tər‚flō]
(hydrology)
The water, derived from precipitation, that infiltrates the soil surface and then moves laterally through the upper layers of soil above the water table until it reaches a stream channel or returns to the surface at some point downslope from its point of infiltration.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.