Assessment of Spatial Variably Saturated Flow by Irrigation Moisture Sensors in 2-Dimensions using the COMSOL Multiphysics 4.1

A. Boluwade, and C. A. Madramootoo
Bioresources Engineering, McGill University
Ste. Anne De Bellevue, QC
Canada

This paper reports on the application of COMSOL Multiphysics’ Richard\'s Equation Interface in the assessment of irrigation moisture sensors for detecting the level of water saturation in a spatial variably saturated soil. The Richard\'s Equation (in COMSOL) provides the interface which automates the van Genuchten equation.

A hypothetical soil column 4m by 4m was set up with seven irrigation sensors inserted and spaced at 0.5m wide. The simulation was done in both vertical and horizontal orientations. The modeling procedure was simplified using a 2-D cross-section. The meshing was user defined.

From the result, comparative analysis was done between the two orientations using the effective saturation, velocity field and pressure head plots.