Simulation of unsteady flow and soil erosion in irrigation furrows

Shiyan Zhang, Jennifer G. Duan, Theodor S. Strelkoff, Eduardo Bautista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study developed a one-dimensional numerical model for the simulation of unsteady flow and the resultant soil erosion in irrigation furrows. The model solves a modified version of the Saint-Venant equations that consider the loss of mass and momentum attributable to infiltration and sediment transport. The transport rate of fine sediment was predicted with a modified Laursen formula that treats the tractive shear stress as a function of both Reynolds number and the particle size. The modified Laursen formula was verified by using the erosion data measured in the field and in a laboratory flume. The model accurately predicted flow advance times and outflow hydrographs in comparison with data measured in irrigation furrows at Kimberly, Idaho. Sediment discharge predictions were less accurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 26 2012


  • Infiltration
  • Irrigation furrows
  • Sediment transport
  • Unsteady flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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