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Simplified Methods for Determining Drain Spacing and Depth: Inputs for Eastern United States

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  072185.(doi:10.13031/2013.22976)
Authors:   R Wayne Skaggs
Keywords:   Drainage, drainage models, DRAINMOD, Drainage Design, Drainage Equations, Drainage design for corn production, nitrogen loss in drainage waters, drained lands

Abstract: Agricultural and Biological engineers have had a leading role in developing drainage design methods that span the range from simple drainage equations to complex computer simulation models. While current efforts are focused on development of complex models to quantify crop and drainage water quality response to design and management alternatives, there is still a place for simple drainage equations. Application of drainage design equations is limited by lack of design criteria for most locations in the U.S. This paper reports results of a simulation study to determine design criteria for the steady state Hooghoudt equation and the transient van Schilfgaarde equation. Simulations were conducted to determine drain spacings that maximize profit for 3 drain depths on 4 soils at 5 locations in eastern U.S. Drainage Design Rates (DDR) for the Hooghoudt equation and the time required for 30 cm water table drawdown (TDD30) were determined for each case. Results were analyzed to develop equations for predicting design criteria (DDR and TDD30)in terms of growing season rainfall, drain depth, profile transmissivity and drainable porosity for eastern U.S. These criteria may be used, with their respective equations, to estimate drain depth and spacing for any location in eastern U.S.

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