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Simulation of soil water dynamics under subsurface drip irrigation from line sources

Elmaloglou, S., Diamantopoulos, E.
Agricultural water management 2009 v.96 no.11 pp. 1587-1595
temporal variation, water uptake, simulation models, soil water content, loamy sand soils, silty soils, subsurface irrigation, microirrigation, soil depth, infiltration (hydrology), evaporation, hysteresis, irrigation rates, spatial variation, hydrologic models, wetting front, subsurface flow
A mathematical model which describes water flow under subsurface drip lines taking into account root water uptake, evaporation of soil water from the soil surface and hysteresis in the soil water characteristic curve θ(H) is presented. The model performance in simulating soil water dynamics was evaluated by comparing the predicted soil water content values with both those of Hydrus 2D model and those of an analytical solution for a buried single strip source. Soil water distribution patterns for three soils (loamy sand, silt, silty clay loam) and two discharge rates (2 and 4lm⁻¹ h⁻¹) at four different times are presented. The numerical results showed that the soil wetting pattern mainly depends on soil hydraulic properties; that at a time equal to irrigation duration decreasing the discharge rate of the line sources but maintaining the applied irrigation depth, the vertical and horizontal components of the wetting front were increased; that at a time equal to the total simulation time the discharge rate has no effect on the actual transpiration and actual soil evaporation and a small effect on deep percolation. Also the numerical results showed that when the soil evaporation is neglected the soil water is more easily taken up by the plant roots.