Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 12, Issue 3&4,2014
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Numerical investigation into optimal agricultural water management for typical soils using HYDRUS-1D model


Po Li, Feiqing Wu, Kefeng Zhang *

Recieved Date: 2014-05-10, Accepted Date: 2014-09-09


Quantitative research of water circulation and utilization in the soil-plant system is the basis for rational use of agricultural water. In this study, a systematic investigation into the optimal irrigation rate and time by numerical simulations for various soils was carried out using HYDRUS-1D model. Three typical and contrasting European soils (coarse, medium  and fine) were used in the simulations. Surface runoff during irrigation was simulated, and so was  water content distribution in the soil profile immediately after irrigation as well as 24 hours after irrigation were simulated. Results reveal that the coarse soil could subject to a great irrigation rate. Even for the irrigation rate of 25 mm/h no significant surface runoff occurred after 5 h irrigation. However, for both the medium and fine soils, the maximum irrigation rates without significant runoff were greatly reduced. The maximum rate was about 5.0 and 3.0 mm/h for the medium soil and fine soil, respectively. The soil wetting depth 24 h after the maximum irrigation rate for 5 h reached to 60 cm in the coarse soil, compared with about 20 and 16 cm in the medium and fine soil, respectively. This indicates that irrigation could wet the root zone of deep-rooted crops in the coarse soil, while it could only wet the root zone for shallow-rooted crops in the medium and fine soils. Furthermore, it was simulated that the soil wetting depth 24 h after irrigation was considerably greater than that immediately after irrigation, suggesting that consideration should be taken in estimating soil wetting depth caused by soil water re-distribution. The results from this study are helpful for irrigation planning for crops grown in different soils with different rooting depths.


Optimal irrigation, HYDRUS-1D model, irrigation simulation, soil water content distribution, soil wetting depth

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2014
Volume: 12
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 155-160

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