Monitoring and modelling draining and resident soil water nitrate concentrations to estimate leaching losses
AbstractQuantifying nitrogen (N) losses below the root zone is highly challenging due to uncertainties associated with estimating drainage fluxes and solute concentrations in the leachate. Active and passive soil water samplers provide solute concentrations but give limited information on water fluxes. Mechanistic models are used to estimate leaching, but require calibration with measured data to ensure their reliability. Data from a drainage lysimeter trial under irrigation in which soil profile nitrate (NO3-) concentrations were monitored using wetting front detectors (passive sampler) and ceramic suction cups (active sampler) were compared to NO3- concentrations in draining and resident soil water as simulated by the research version of the Soil Water Balance model (SWB-Sci). SWB-Sci is a daily time-step, cascading soil water and solute balance model that provides draining NO3- concentrations by accounting for incomplete solute mixing. As hypothesized, suction cup concentrations aligned closely with resident soil water concentrations, while wetting front detector concentrations aligned closely with draining soil water NO3- concentrations. These results demonstrate the power of combining monitoring and modelling to estimate NO3- leaching losses. Access to measured draining and resident NO3- concentrations, especially when complemented with modelled fluxes, can contribute greatly to achieving improved production and environmental objectives.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.
Volume (Year): 97 (2010)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat
Nitrate leaching Monitoring Modelling Draining and resident soil water SWB-Sci;
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