Coupled surface-subsurface solute transport model for irrigation borders and basins. I. Model development

D. Zerihun, A. Furman, A. W. Warrick*, C. A. Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Surface fertigation is widely practiced in irrigated crop production systems. Lack of design and management tools limits the effectiveness of surface fertigation practices. The availability of a process-based coupled surface-subsurface hydraulic and solute transport model can lead to improved surface fertigation management. This paper presents the development of a coupled surface-subsurface solute transport model. A hydraulic model described in a previous paper by the writers provided the hydrodynamic basis for the solute transport model presented here. A numerical solution of the area averaged advection-dispersion equation, based on the split-operator approach, forms the surface solute transport component of the coupled model. The subsurface transport process is simulated using HYDRUS-1D, which also solves the one-dimensional advection-dispersion equation. A driver program is used for the internal coupling of the surface and subsurface transport models. Solute fluxes calculated using the surface transport model are used as upper boundary conditions for the subsurface model. Evaluation of the model is presented in a companion paper. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering - ASCE
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Coupling
  • Models
  • Salinity
  • Solutes
  • Surface irrigation
  • Unsaturated flow


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