alexa Modeling Flow and Solute Transport in Irrigation Furrows | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2168-9768

Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering
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Review Article

Modeling Flow and Solute Transport in Irrigation Furrows

Zerihun D1, Sanchez CA2*, Lazarovitch N3, Warrick AW4, Clemmens AJ5 and Bautista E6

1Maricopa Agricultural Center, University of Arizona, Maricopa, USA

2Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences and Maricopa Agricultural Center, University of Arizona, Maricopa, Arizona

3Department of Dryland Agriculture, French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Israel

4Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Shantz Bldg, Tucson, USA

5Formerly, USDA-ARS U.S. Arid Lands Agricultural Research Center, 21881 N. Cardon Lane, Maricopa, AZ 85138, USA

6USDA-ARS U.S. Arid Lands Agricultural Research Center, 21881 N. Cardon Lane, Maricopa, AZ 85138, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Charles A Sanchez
Department of Soil, Water
and Environmental Sciences and Maricopa Agricultural Center
University of Arizona, 37860
W. Smith-Enke RD, Maricopa, Arizona
Tel: + 520-568 2273
E-mail: [email protected]

Received June 17, 2014; Accepted June 20, 2014; Published June 28, 2014

Citation: Zerihun D, Sanchez CA, Lazarovitch N, Warrick AW, Clemmens AJ, et al. (2014) Modeling Flow and Solute Transport in Irrigation Furrows. Irrigat Drainage Sys Eng 3:124. doi:10.4172/2168-9768.1000124

Copyright: © 2014 Zerihun D, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


This paper presents an internally coupled flow and solute transport model for free-draining irrigation furrows. Furrow hydraulics is simulated with a numerical zero-inertia model and solute transport is computed with a numerical cross-section averaged advection-dispersion model. A procedure for integrating the furrow volumetric cumulative intake integral in the context of a hydraulic model is presented. Two hydraulic and solute transport data sets collected in sloping free-draining test furrows were used in model evaluation. Soil intake and hydraulic parameters were estimated with a simple approach that matches simulated and measured flow depth hydrographs. The field-scale Weighted Mean Relative Residual (WMRR) between measured and model predicted flow depth hydrographs are 22.0% and 29.0% for the two data set. Furthermore, it is shown that the WMRR of 29.0% reduces to 16.0%, when only the error associated with the downstream end computational node is excluded. This suggests that a significant fraction of the error is related to the form of the downstream boundary condition used. It also shows that the effect of the downstream boundary condition does not extend to a large segment of the flow upstream. The longitudinal dispersion coefficient is approximated with an explicit equation as a function of the hydraulic and geometric variables. Model evaluation is conducted in three steps: (1) cumulative intakes and intake rates computed with the numerical formulation presented here were compared with a subsurface flow model, HYDRUS-2D; (2) solute breakthrough curves computed with the coupled flow and transport model were compared with those from exact analytical solutions for applicable conditions; and (3) model predicted solute breakthrough curves were compared with those obtained from field measurements. Overall the results suggest that the coupled flow and transport model is a useful irrigation and fertigation system management and evaluation tool.


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