Micrometeorology of sprinkler irrigation

Hancock, N. H. and Uddin, J. M. and Smith, R. J. and Foley, J. P. (2015) Micrometeorology of sprinkler irrigation. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 200. pp. 293-301. ISSN 0168-1923


Evaporation during sprinkler irrigation involves complex and multiple micrometeorological changes at
various stages as the crop canopy is wetted and subsequently dries. The advection of energy is important
in this process, particularly with lateral move and centre pivot machines which are used to irrigate
extensive areas of cropping and result in a moving patchwork of adjacent wetted and non-wetted areas.
To investigate the significance and magnitude of all the terms involved in the energy budget of a sprinkler
irrigated crop, a study was conducted on a small area of cotton at the University of Southern Queensland,
Australia using eddy covariance and ancillary measurements. The relevant theory is set out and all terms
were quantified. Of the ‘minor’ terms in the energy balance, all but the advected energy were shown
to be negligible or cancel other terms. The advected sensible heat DH and latent heat DV fluxes were
shown to be significant in the energy budget, ranging from 1.5 to 14% of the available energy depending
on prevailing meteorological conditions. This advection increased the evaporation from the irrigated
area by adding energy (DH) and by removing water vapour (removing energy DV). Of the two terms,
neglecting DH would result in a significant underestimate of the available energy for evaporation, and
a corresponding underestimate of the actual evaporation. The methodology used, and theory as set out
in this paper, provides the means to estimate the additional evaporation that occurs during sprinkler

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 02:59
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 03:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy balance, eddy covariance, evapotranspiration, advected energy, canopy evaporation
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.10.010
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27338

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