Monitoring and modelling the three-dimensional flow of water under drip irrigation
Fernandez-Galvez, J. and Simmonds, L. P. (2006) Monitoring and modelling the three-dimensional flow of water under drip irrigation. Agricultural Water Management, 83 (3). pp. 197-208. ISSN 0378-3774
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2005.11.008
The interpretation of soil water dynamics under drip irrigation systems is relevant for crop production as well as on water use and management. In this study a three-dimensional representation of the flow of water under drip irrigation is presented. The work includes analysis of the water balance at point scale as well as area-average, exploring uncertainties in water balance estimations depending on the number of locations sampled. The water flow was monitored by detailed profile water content measurements before irrigation, after irrigation and 24 h later with a dense array of soil moisture access tubes radially distributed around selected drippers. The objective was to develop a methodology that could be used on selected occasions to obtain 'snap shots' of the detailed three-dimensional patterns of soil moisture. Such patterns are likely to be very complex, as spatial variability will be induced for a number of reasons, such as strong horizontal gradients in soil moisture, variations between individual sources in the amount of water applied and spatial variability is soil hydraulic properties. Results are compared with a widely used numerical model, Hydrus-2D. The observed dynamic of the water content distribution is in good agreement with model simulations, although some discrepancies concerning the horizontal distribution of the irrigation bulb are noted due to soil heterogeneity. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.