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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Water table depth simulation for flat agricultural land under subsurface drainage and subirrigation practices Chao, Ena C. Y.


Drainable porosity as a function of water table was investigated to replace the common practice of treating it as a constant A continuous function in the form of a negative exponential equation relating drainable porosity to water table depth was developed by three methods: (1) laboratory core-sample analysis; (2) rainfall rate and water table depth analysis; (3) drainage rate and water table depth analysis. Furthermore, this function was derived for four different water table regimes: (1) subsurface drainage; (2) low subirrigation and subsurface drainage; (3) high subirrigation and subsurface drainage; (4) no drainage and no subirrigation. The drainable porosity function was incorporated into a water balance model which simulated the soil moisture profile and the water table depth on a daily basis. Major modification of the previous model was the elimination of separate falling and rising water table equations since discrete porosity values were no longer assigned to particular soil depth intervals. A subroutine program which computed the total maximum transient storage and the transient storages to each of the four successive soil zones was also incorporated. The 'maximum drainable porosity' and the 'rate constant' parameters in the negative exponential equation were found to be different among the three methods of analysis and among the four water table regimes. Good agreement between simulated and actual water table depths of each regime for 1984 and 1985 was found. The modified water balance model could be used to generate different water table depths by changing the input parameter of design drainage rate. From these outputs, a appropriate drainage rate which gives the desired water table depth could be selected for the purpose of horizontal subsurface drainage system design.

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