Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

An investigation of furrow advance rates under surge flow irrigation

Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • The intermittent or cyclic application of water to furrows or borders, a method known as "surge flow irrigation", can significantly improve the advance characteristics of surface irrigation. Numerous field studies have shown that the advance of furrows is considerably more rapid when irrigated by surge flow than by the conventional, continuous flow method. In addition, the advance rates of surge flow have been found to be less variable among furrows than by those of continuous flow. Furthermore a large difference between surge and continuous flow is generally seen in the volume of water required to complete the advance phase. These facts have led researchers to conclude that surge flow may be capable of significantly improving the efficiencies of surface irrigation. Two field experiments were conducted in southern Oregon during the 1983 irrigation season to investigate advance rate differences between surge flow treatments involving three different on-off time ratios and a continuous stream with an equal instantaneous discharge rate. Field data were used to construct power functions for each individual treatment relating advance time and advance distance. The derived power functions formed the primary basis from which the treatments were compared. The average advance-time and standard deviation for each treatment at designated stations along the furrow run were used in evaluating the variation in advance rates among treatments. The results of the field experiments, which were consistent with findings of other surge flow researchers, indicated that surge flow increased advance rates, significantly reduced water use in advance, and improved the advance uniformity among furrows. The experimental results will be submitted to others involved in surge flow research. To support the experimental studies, a computer model was developed and programmed to simulate both surge flow and continuous flow advance. The model was run for a continuous and a cycled flow with the model input based on the conditions during the second field experiment. In both cases the model underestimated the observed field advance. However, the infiltration input, which has a tremendous effect on the model results, had to be estimated from the observed field advance data rather than experimentally evaluated.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Academic Affiliation
Non-Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Digitization Specifications
  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.



This work has no parents.

In Collection: