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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-514
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-514
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Oct 2020

16 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Assessing the dynamics of soil salinity with time-lapse inversion of electromagnetic data guided by hydrological modelling

Mohammad Farzamian1,2, Dario Autovino3, Angelo Basile3, Roberto De Mascellis3, Giovanna Dragonetti4, Fernando Monteiro Santos2, Andrew Binley5, and Antonio Coppola6 Mohammad Farzamian et al.
  • 1Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Oeiras, 2780-157, Portugal
  • 2Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, 1749-016, Portugal
  • 3Institute for Mediterranean Agricultural and Forestry Systems, National Research Council, Portici (NA), 80055, Italy
  • 4Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Valenzano (BA), 70010, Italy
  • 5Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom
  • 6School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata, Potenza, 85100, Italy

Abstract. Irrigated agriculture is threatened by soil salinity in numerous arid and semiarid areas of the world, chiefly caused by the use of highly salinity irrigation water, compounded by excessive evapotranspiration. Given this threat, efficient field assessment methods are needed to monitor the dynamics of soil salinity in salt-affected irrigated lands and evaluate the performance of management strategies. In this study, we report on the results of an irrigation experiment with the main objective of evaluating time-lapse inversion of electromagnetic induction (EMI) data and hydrological modelling in field assessment of soil salinity dynamics. Four experimental plots were established and irrigated 12 times during a two-month period, with water at four different salinity levels (1, 4, 8 and 12 dS m−1) using a drip irrigation system. Time-lapse apparent electrical conductivity (σa) data were collected 6 times during the experiment period using a CMD Mini-Explorer. Prior to inversion of time-lapse σa data, a numerical experiment was performed by 2D simulations of the water and solute infiltration and redistribution process. The obtained potential spatio-temporal distributions of water content, solute concentration and bulk electrical conductivity (σb) assisted in understanding of how solute concentration and water content changes during the experiment influence σb distribution as well as optimizing the time-lapse inversion parameters for resolving σb changes in this experiment. Finally, we inverted the time-lapse field σa data and interpreted the results in terms of concentration distributions over time. Our investigation shows that EMI measurements and suitable modelling techniques allow for rapid and non-invasive investigation of spatio-temporal variability in soil salinity over large areas. Their effectiveness and relatively low cost make them appealing for management of water irrigation in salinity-threatened regions of the world.

Mohammad Farzamian et al.

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Short summary
Soil salinity is a serious threat in numerous arid and semiarid areas of the world. Given this threat, efficient field assessment methods are needed to monitor the dynamics of soil salinity in salt-affected lands efficiently. We demonstrate rapid and non-invasive geophysical measurements modeled by advanced numerical analysis of the signals and coupled with hydrological modeling can provide valuable information to assess the spatio-temporal variability in soil salinity over large areas.
Soil salinity is a serious threat in numerous arid and semiarid areas of the world. Given this...
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