Coupled Water and Heat Transport in Ridged Soils
- J. G. Benjamin ,
- M. R. Ghaffarzadeh and
- R. M. Cruse
Study of ridge-tillage effects on the soil environment has been impeded by the lack of models to adequately describe water and heat movement in the ridge system. The ridge system introduces many nonuniform characteristics into the field problem, such as variable solar radiation across the soil surface, unevenly distributed surface mulches, and variable water and heat transport properties caused by ridge construction or wheel traffic. A finite-element model was developed to simulate coupled water and heat flow in ridge systems. The finite-element solution scheme was chosen because of the ease by which nonuniform soil transport properties and nonuniform boundary conditions can be included in the problem specifications. Model predictions of soil water and temperature were compared with field measurements for two ridge configurations. Predicted and measured average daily temperatures over a 10-d period were within 1 °C and water contents were within 0.02 m3 m−3 for 80% of the measurements.
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