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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-656
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-656
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 14 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 14 Jan 2020

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

A field validated surrogate model for optimum performance of irrigated crops in regions with shallow salty groundwater

Zhongyi Liu1, Zailin Huo1, Chaozi Wang1, Limin Zhang2, Xianghao Wang1, Guanhua Huang1, Xu Xu1, and Tammo Siert Steenhuis3 Zhongyi Liu et al.
  • 1Center for Agricultural Water Research in China, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100083, PR China
  • 2School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, 100083, PR, China
  • 3Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Abstract. Optimum performance of irrigated crops in regions with shallow saline groundwater requires a careful balance between application of irrigation water and upward movement of salinity from the groundwater. Few field validated surrogate models are available to aid in the management of irrigation water under shallow groundwater conditions. The objective of this research is to develop a model that can aid in the management using a minimum of input data that is field validated. In this paper a 2-year field experiment was carried out in the Hetao irrigation district in Inner Mongolia, China and a physically based integrated surrogate model for arid irrigated areas with shallow groundwater was developed and validated with the collected field data. The integrated model that links crop growth with available water and salinity in the vadose zone is called Evaluation of the Performance of Irrigated Crops and Soils (EPICS). EPICS recognizes that field capacity is reached when the matric potential is equal to the height above the groundwater table and thus not by a limiting hydraulic conductivity. In the field experiment, soil moisture contents and soil salt conductivity at 5 depths in the top 100 cm, groundwater depth, crop height, and leaf area index were measured in 2017 and 2018. The field results were used for calibration and validation of EPICS. Simulated and observed data fitted generally well during both calibration and validation. The EPICS model that can predict crop growth, soil water, groundwater depth and soil salinity can aid in optimizing water management in irrigation districts with shallow aquifers.

Zhongyi Liu et al.
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Short summary
We have developed an integrated surrogate model for arid irrigated areas with shallow groundwater that links crop growth with soil water and salinity in the vadose zone. The model recognizes the field capacity is reached when the matric potential is equal to the height above the groundwater table. The model applies areas with shallow groundwater for which only very few surrogate models are available while most surface irrigation systems in the world without suffering from high groundwater.
We have developed an integrated surrogate model for arid irrigated areas with shallow...
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