Factors affecting the estimation of seepage rates from channel automation data

Moavenshahidi, A. and Smith, R. and Gillies, M. (2014) Factors affecting the estimation of seepage rates from channel automation data. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 141 (6). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0733-9437


Seepage is the dominant process by which water is lost from well-managed earthen distribution channels. Pondage tests are acknowledged as the best direct method for seepage measurement, and the recorded water level data from automated systems during periods of gate closure can be treated as pondage test data. A new computer model that applies pondage test methodology to automated channel control data during periods of shutdown to estimate seepage rates in different channel reaches was developed recently by the authors. In this paper, the model is applied to the total channel control (TCC) data for the entire Coleambally irrigation area during three consecutive irrigation seasons between 2009 and 2012 to estimate the seepage rate for each depth gauge, pondage, and pool. Various features affecting the estimated seepage rates were evaluated for selected pools. The evaluation considered two groups of factors. The first group consists of factors that affect the estimation of the seepage rate, including rainfall and evaporation during the pondage period, number of water level measurements in the pondage, and duration of gate shutdown. The second group consists of factors that affect the rate of seepage, including surface water elevation at the start of the pondage condition and its relation to supply level of the channel at each gauge, seasonal variations in seepage rate, and suspected leakage through macropores in banks of the channels.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 04:10
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 05:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coleambally irrigation area; irrigation channels; pondage test; seepage estimation; total channel control
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960913 Water Allocation and Quantification
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)IR.1943-4774.0000842
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26657

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