Surface Irrigation Using Kinematic-Wave Method

by Cheng-lung Chen, (A.M.ASCE), Prof. Civ. of Civ. Engrg.; Utah Water Res. Lab., Utah State Univ., Logan, UT; formerly, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 39-46

Document Type: Journal Paper


In the kinematic-wave method, one-dimensional unsteady mathematical model for flow in surface irrigation consists of the equation of continuity for the surface flow, the simplified equation of motion, a uniform-flow formula, for the surface flow, the simplified flow equation for the subsurface flow, the infiltration equation or an empirical formula, and appropriately prescribed initial and boundary conditions. By means of the kinematic-wave method that is only valid for supercritical flow, the model is solved to yield the general solution that depends on the solution form of the cumulative depth of the subsurface flow at the head ditch. A particular solution for a constant infiltration rate reduced from the general solution is shown to be compatible with that obtained from the modified Lewis-Milne equation. The solution has different expressions for laminar and turbulent flows.

Subject Headings: Subsurface flow | One-dimensional flow | Unsteady flow | Surface irrigation | Turbulent flow | Laminar flow | Overland flow | Kinematic waves

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