Lysimeter Studies in Irrigated Soils of South Eastern Australia

by Wayne S. Meyer, CSIRO, Griffith,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lysimeters for Evapotranspiration and Environmental Measurements


The Riverine Plain of south eastern Australia is an extensive, predominantly clay soil area with large surface irrigation schemes. Early lysimeter installations were used to estimate evaporative losses from grass canopies. The most recent installations have been used in studies of plant canopy and root responses to waterlogging and in measuring the crop water balance components in the presence of shallow water tables. Capillary rise from fresh water tables 1 m from the ground surface can account for 8% to 36% of total evaporation of a well watered crop. Marked differences occur between clay soil types in the capillary rise component. Soil type differences also cause subtle changes in plant growth within undisturbed lysimeter cores resulting in small canopy height discontinuities which in turn, affect crop evaporation rates.

Subject Headings: Evaporation | Canopies | Water table | Soil classification | Measuring instruments | Irrigation | Water resources | Soil water | Australia

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