Juan R. Gonzalez Cena1, Donald C. Slack1, Ebrahim Babaeian2 and Markus Tuller3, (1)Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (2)Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (3)Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Soil salinity poses an increasing global threat to sustainable agriculture, adversely affecting crop quality and productivity. Salinity is commonly ameliorated by means of flood irrigation in conjunction with tile drains. This practice not only consumes excessive amounts of water, but can also have undesirable side effects. Experimental and theoretical evidence suggests that surface flooding promotes faster flushing of salts from areas directly above the tile drains. However, salt leaching from areas between the drains is less efficient. While it has been demonstrated in laboratory experiments and via numerical computer simulations that partial sequential flooding is more efficient in leaching salts than regular flooding, its performance under actual field conditions has yet to be documented. With the goal to reclaim a salt affected field under commercial farming conditions in Arizona, the performance of both strategies was evaluated based on pre- and post- flooding electromagnetic induction (EMI) surveys with a Dualem-1S sensor.