Surface Water - Groundwater Interaction in Agricultural Settings

Simulating groundwater - surface water interactions in prairie pothole terrains has traditionally been viewed as a significant challenge to the hydrologic modelling community. However, with HydroGeoSphere, the complex process by which water movement is influenced by the combination of pothole topography and highly variable subsurface materials can be readily reproduced. In the example shown above, precipitation is falling on an upland area which then initiates overland flow, pothole filling, and further overland flow from the upland pothole to the lowland pothole lying outside the region receiving rain. Additionally, the simulations show depression focussed groundwater recharge beneath the potholes, with both an unsaturated zone and a fractured aquitard influencing sub-surface water movement. 


Nutrient Management

  Modeled distribution of a theoretical conservative tracer within the soil matrix beneath free drainage (FD) and controlled drainage (CD) test plots at 0.001 d, 1 d, and 36 days post liquid swine manure/tracer application.

Modeled distribution of a theoretical conservative tracer within the soil matrix beneath free drainage (FD) and controlled drainage (CD) test plots at 0.001 d, 1 d, and 36 days post liquid swine manure/tracer application.

The off field movement of nutrients derived from liquid manure reflect an economic loss to farmers and can degrade environment. In the application presented here, HydroGeoSphere is being used to successfully simulate liquid swine manure movement through macroporous, tile drained soil profiles under strong groundwater influence. The above simulations are being used to evaluate the influence of tile drainage management on solute transport characteristics. Results demonstrate that immediately following liquid manure application, controlled tile drainage can enhance nutrient concentrations in tile drain effluent and soluble nutrient loading into shallow groundwater following manure application.

 

This work was published in the Journal of Hydrology and was featured as Research Highlight on our Blog.