Estimation of the 2D cross-sectional area of the wetting pattern under drip irrigation and spatio-temporal variation of the components of the wetting pattern
Keywords:drip irrigation system, wetting pattern, 2D mathematical modelling, water movement in soil, analytical solution, spatio-temporal variation of wetting pattern
The wetting pattern which occurs under surface drip irrigation is an important component for the optimum design of the system and for irrigation programming. The aim of this investigation was to devise a model which enables estimation of the 2D cross-sectional area of the wetting pattern which occurs under a surface dripper by an analytical method. The main parameters of the wetting pattern are the wetting diameter on the soil surface, the maximum wetted depth and maximum wetted width in the soil profile, and the depth of this maximum wetted width from the soil surface. In the laboratory experiments, water applications were carried out on two soil textures (clay loam and clay) with homogeneous soil profiles at two discharge rates over 125 min and 170 min periods. The sizes of the parameters of the wetting pattern were measured as consecutive series over 5-min intervals during the water application period. The general/main shape which represents the wetting patterns which occur under different irrigation conditions was defined and mathematically modelled. When the results were evaluated statistically, a correlation of 0.9128 was found between the momentary rates of change of the maximum depth of the wetting pattern predicted by the model and those measured in the experiment. The correlation between the momentary variations of accelerations of the same parameter was 0.9205. In addition, the size of the wetting pattern showed an increment in reducing velocities during the water application period. The results indicate that the model devised in this investigation can be used in the prediction of the cross-sectional area of the wetting pattern which occurs under a surface dripper.
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