Analysis of soil wetting and solute transport in subsurface trickle irrigation

Cote, C. M., Bristow, K. L., Charlesworth, P. B., Cook, F. J. and Thorburn, P. J. (2003) Analysis of soil wetting and solute transport in subsurface trickle irrigation. Irrigation Science, 22 3-4: 143-156. doi:10.1007/s00271-003-0080-8

Author Cote, C. M.
Bristow, K. L.
Charlesworth, P. B.
Cook, F. J.
Thorburn, P. J.
Title Analysis of soil wetting and solute transport in subsurface trickle irrigation
Journal name Irrigation Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0342-7188
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00271-003-0080-8
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 22
Issue 3-4
Start page 143
End page 156
Total pages 14
Place of publication Heidelberg
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract The increased use of trickle or drip irrigation is seen as one way of helping to improve the sustainability of irrigation systems around the world. However, soil water and solute transport properties and soil profile characteristics are often not adequately incorporated in the design and management of trickle systems. In this paper, we describe results of a simulation study designed to highlight the impacts of soil properties on water and solute transport from buried trickle emitters. The analysis addresses the influence of soil hydraulic properties, soil layering, trickle discharge rate, irrigation frequency, and timing of nutrient application on wetting patterns and solute distribution. We show that (1) trickle irrigation can improve plant water availability in medium and low permeability fine-textured soils, providing that design and management are adapted to account for their soil hydraulic properties, (2) in highly permeable coarse-textured soils, water and nutrients move quickly downwards from the emitter, making it difficult to wet the near surface zone if emitters are buried too deep, and (3) changing the fertigation strategy for highly permeable coarse-textured soils to apply nutrients at the beginning of an irrigation cycle can maintain larger amounts of nutrient near to and above the emitter, thereby making them less susceptible to leaching losses. The results demonstrate the need to account for differences in soil hydraulic properties and solute transport when designing irrigation and fertigation management strategies. Failure to do this will result in inefficient systems and lost opportunities for reducing the negative environmental impacts of irrigation.
Keyword Agricultural Engineering
Water Resources
Dependent Linearized Infiltration
Point Sources
Steady Infiltration
Drip Irrigation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 126 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 176 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 23:56:27 EST