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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


FAN, Yanwei et al. Moisture content distribution model for the soil wetting body under moistube irrigation. Water SA [online]. 2023, vol.49, n.1, pp.73-91. ISSN 1816-7950.

This study investigated the moisture distribution characteristics of a soil wetting body under different influencing factors to inform the design and management of a moistube irrigation system. A mathematical model of soil moisture movement under moistube irrigation was established based on Hydrus-2D software. The suitability of the Hydrus-2D simulation model was verified by laboratory experiments. Numerical simulations were carried out with Hydrus-2D to investigate the influence of soil texture, initial moisture content, moistube specific discharge and irrigation time on the moisture distribution of a soil wetting body. The soil moisture content is highest at the moistube, and its value is related to the moistube-specific discharge and soil texture. The soil moisture content at any point in the wetting body decreased linearly with increasing distance from the wetting front to the moistube in the five set directions (vertical downward, 45° downward, horizontal, 45° upward and vertical upward). This trend is applicable to fine-textured and coarse-textured soil. An estimation model of soil moisture content including soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, initial soil moisture, the specific flow rate of the moistube and the maximum value of the wetting front distance in all directions is proposed. The model estimation is good (root mean square error = 0.008-0.018 cm3-cm-3, close to 0; Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient = 0.987, close to 1), and it can provide a practical tool for moistube irrigation design and agricultural water management.

Keywords : moistube irrigation; wetting body; soil moisture; Hydrus-2D; moisture content model.

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