Changes in spatial and temporal variability of SAR affected by shallow groundwater management of an irrigated field, California

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2010
Month Published: NA
Author: Shouse, P.J. ; Soppe, R.W.O. ; Ayars, J.E. ; Goldberg, S. ; Skaggs, T.H.
Book Group Author: NA

In the irrigated western U.S. disposal of drainage water has become a significant economic and environmental liability. Development of irrigation water management practices that reduce drainage water volumes is essential. One strategy combines restricted drainage outflow (by plugging the drains) with deficit irrigation to maximize shallow groundwater consumption by crops, thus reducing drainage that needs disposal. This approach is not without potential pitfalls; upward movement of groundwater in response to crop water uptake may increase salt and sodium concentrations in the root zone. The purposes for this study were: to observe changes in the spatial and temporal distributions of SAR (sodium adsorption ratio) and salt in a field managed to minimize drainage discharge; to determine if in situ drainage reduction strategy affects SAR distribution in the soil profile; and to identify soil or management factors that can help explain field wide variability. We measured SAR, soil salinity (EC1:1) and soil texture over 3 years in a 60-ha irrigated field on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, California. At the time we started our measurements, the field was beginning to be managed according to a shallow groundwater/drainage reduction strategy. Soil salinity and SAR were found to be highly correlated in the field. The observed spatial and temporal variability in SAR was largely a product of soil textural variations within the field and their associated variations in apparent leaching fraction. During the 3-year study period, the percentage of the field in which the lower profile (90-180cm) depth averaged SAR was above 10, increased from 20 to 40%. Since salinity was increasing concomitantly with SAR, and because the soil contained gypsum, sodium hazard was not expected to become a limiting factor for long term shallow groundwater management by drain control. It is anticipated that the technology will be viable for future seasons.

Pages: 673 - 680
Volume: 97
Number: 5
Journal: Agricultural water management
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 03783774

Drainage control; Shallow groundwater management; Sodium; California

Series Number:
Document Type:
Subject Category: