Moment analysis for modeling soil water distribution in furrow irrigation: Variable vs. constant ponding depths

Honeyeh Kazemi, Ali Ashraf Sadraddini, Amir Hossein Nazemi, Charles A. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite increasing use of pressurized irrigation methods, most irrigation projects world-wide still involve surface systems. Accurate estimation of the amount of infiltrating water and its spatial distribution in the soil is of great importance in the design and management of furrow irrigation systems. Moment analysis has previously been applied to describe the subsurface water distribution using input data from numerical simulations rather than field measured data, and as-suming a constant ponding depth in the furrow. A field experiment was conducted in a blocked-end level furrow at Maricopa Agricultural Center, Arizona, USA, to study the effect of time-variable ponding depths on soil water distribution and the resulting wetting bulb under real conditions in the field using moment analysis. The simulated volumetric soil water contents run with variable and constant (average) ponding depths using HYDRUS 2D/3D were almost identical, and both compared favorably with the field data. Hence, only the simulated soil water contents with variable ponding depths were used to calculate the moments. It was concluded that the fluctuating flow depth had no significant influence on the resulting time-evolving ellipses. This was related to the negligible 10-cm variation in ponding depths compared to the high negative matric potential of the unsaturated soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1415
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2021


  • Furrow irrigation
  • Moment analysis
  • Soil water
  • Variable ponding depths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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