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Effect of temporal variability in soil hydraulic properties on simulated water transfer under high-frequency drip irrigation

Listed author(s):
  • Mubarak, Ibrahim
  • Mailhol, Jean Claude
  • Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael
  • Bouarfa, Sami
  • Ruelle, Pierre
Registered author(s):

    The effect of changes in the hydraulic properties of a loamy topsoil on water transfer under daily drip irrigation was studied over a cropping cycle. Soil water contents were measured continuously with neutron probes and capacitance sensors placed in access tubes (EnviroSMART) and were compared to predications made by the Hydrus-2D model. Three different sets of hydraulic parameters measured before and after irrigation started, were used. Our results demonstrated that, based on the assumptions used in this study, the accuracy of the Hydrus predictions is good. Graphical and statistical comparisons of simulated and measured soil water contents and consequently the total water storage revealed a similar trend throughout the monitoring period for the all three different sets of parameters. The soil hydraulic properties determined after irrigation started were found to be much more representative of the majority of the irrigation season, as confirmed by the accuracy of the simulation results with high values of the index of agreement and with values of RMSE similar in magnitude to the error associated with field measurements (0.020cm3cm-3). The highest RMSE values (about 0.04cm3cm-3) were found when the model used input soil parameters measured before irrigation started. Generally, changes in topsoil hydraulic properties over time had no significant effect on soil moisture distribution in our agro-pedo-climatic context. One possible explanation is that daily water application was conducted at the same time as maximal root water uptake. This meant the soil did not need to store total daily crop water requirements and consequently that the water redistribution phase represented a very short stage in the irrigation cycle. It is probable that irrigating in the daytime when crop evapotranspiration is highest could prevent the effects of a temporal change and other problems connected with the soil. Moreover, water will be always available for the crop. Further experiments are needed to justify the results and to study the effects of low frequency drip irrigation on soil hydraulic characterization and consequently on soil water transfer in order to improve irrigation scheduling practices.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.

    Volume (Year): 96 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1547-1559

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:96:y:2009:i:11:p:1547-1559
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    1. Michelakis, N. & Vougioucalou, E. & Clapaki, G., 1993. "Water use, wetted soil volume, root distribution and yield of avocado under drip irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 119-131, October.
    2. Gardenas, A.I. & Hopmans, J.W. & Hanson, B.R. & Simunek, J., 2005. "Two-dimensional modeling of nitrate leaching for various fertigation scenarios under micro-irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 219-242, June.
    3. Hanson, Blaine R. & Simunek, Jirka & Hopmans, Jan W., 2006. "Evaluation of urea-ammonium-nitrate fertigation with drip irrigation using numerical modeling," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 86(1-2), pages 102-113, November.
    4. Mailhol, Jean Claude & Olufayo, Ayorinde A. & Ruelle, Pierre, 1997. "Sorghum and sunflower evapotranspiration and yield from simulated leaf area index," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 167-182, December.
    5. Patel, Neelam & Rajput, T.B.S., 2008. "Dynamics and modeling of soil water under subsurface drip irrigated onion," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(12), pages 1335-1349, December.
    6. repec:eee:ecomod:v:220:y:2009:i:4:p:505-521 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Khaledian, M.R. & Mailhol, J.C. & Ruelle, P. & Rosique, P., 2009. "Adapting PILOTE model for water and yield management under direct seeding system: The case of corn and durum wheat in a Mediterranean context," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 757-770, May.
    8. M.R. Khaledian & J.C. Mailhol & P. Ruelle & J.L. Rosique, 2009. "Adapting PILOTE model for water and yield management under direct seeding system: The case of corn and durum wheat in a Mediterranean context," Post-Print hal-00454543, HAL.
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