Soil Surface Wetting Pattern under Trickle Source in Arid Lands: Badia Regions

Ahmad M. Abu-Awwad, Jawad T. Al-Bakri, Mashal M. Alfawwaz


Arid regions are characterized by fragile soils that differ in behavior according to their physical and chemical compositions. In this study, the wetted soil surface area was measured for four different soil types to assess the impact of the individual soil particles (silt, sand and clay separates) on soil surface wetting area, under different application rates using point source trickle irrigation. Three flow rates were tested 4, 8 and 12 liters per hour (Lph) on four different soil types (silt loam, loam, sandy loam58sand and sandy loam77sand). Soil surface wetted area increases as emitter flow rate increases. The results showed that increasing emitter flow rate from 4 to 8 and to 12 Lph, increased soil surface wetted area by about 60 and 160%, respectively. Soil surface wetted areas in loam soil and silt loam soils were 1.5 and 2.8 times that in sandy loam soils, respectively. Soil surface wetted area increases rapidly with time initially, but then increases at a decreasing rate, until the application rate became in equilibrium with soil infiltration rate. The surface wetted area had good correlation with the percentages of silt, sand and clay soil particles, with regression correlation ranging from 0.90 to 0.97. The trends were increased wetting with clay and silt and decreased wetting with sand. The expected losses on the form of evaporation in arid soils suffering from surface crust, therefore, would increase in soils dominated by silt or clay when compared with sand, indicating that cropping pattern in arid environments should be carefully selected in areas with scarce water resources.


Drip irrigation, Wetting pattern, Infiltration, Aridity, Badia regions

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