Alfalfa ET Measurements with Drainage Lysimeters

by Brian J. Boman, Univ of Florida, Ft. Pierce, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lysimeters for Evapotranspiration and Environmental Measurements


Drainage lysimeters were used to measure alfalfa evapotranspiration (ET) under a line-gradient sprinkler system in the high-elevation desert conditions of northwest New Mexico. The lysimeters were constructed from plywood frames lined with plastic sheeting with dimensions of six feet in length, width, and depth. Leachate was removed by applying vacuum to ceramic candles or perforated pipe in the lysimeter bottoms. Construction and installation details are presented along with operation and maintenance considerations. Average ET was 1070 mm in 1980, 1052 mm in 1981, and 897 mm in 1982, which was 84% of the calculated Penman reference ET for the same periods. The peak 7-day average ET rates occurred during the late June and early July and were 8.9 mm day-1 in 1980, 7.6 mm day-1 in 1981, and 7.9 mm day-1 for 1982.

Subject Headings: Vegetation | Drainage | Measuring instruments | Evapotranspiration | Soil water | Water resources | Arid lands | Case studies | New Mexico | United States

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