Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2018, Vol. 10 Issue (6): 968-976    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0108-9
Comparing phreatic evaporation at zero water table depth with water surface evaporation
Shunjun HU1,*(), Yongde GAN1,2, Yongbao CHEN1,3
1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
3 Central South Institute of Metallurgical Geology, Yichang 443003, China
Download: HTML     PDF(389KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      


Salt-affected soils are mostly found in irrigated areas within arid and semi-arid regions where the groundwater table is shallow. Soils of this type have become an increasingly severe problem because they threaten both the environment and the sustainable development of irrigated agriculture. A tool to estimate phreatic evaporation is therefore urgently required to minimize the salinization potential of salt-affected areas. In this context, phreatic evaporation at zero water table depth (E0) is a key parameter for establishing a model for calculating phreatic evaporation. The aim of this study was to explore the law of phreatic evaporation and to develop structurally rational empirical models for calculating phreatic evaporation, based on E0 data of six types of soil (i.e., gravel, fine sand, sandy loam, light loam, medium loam, and heavy loam) observed using the non-weighing lysimeter and water surface evaporation (E601) data observed using a E601 evaporator of same evaporation area with a lysimeter-tube at the groundwater balance station of the Weigan River Management Office in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, during the non-freezing period (April to October) between 1990 and 1994. The relationship between E0 and E601 was analyzed, the relationship between the ratio of E0 to E601 and the mechanical compositions of different soils was presented, and the factors influencing E0 were discussed. The results of this study reveal that E0 is not equal to E601. In fact, only values of the former for fine sand are close to those of the latter. Data also show that E0 values are related to soil texture as well as to potential atmospheric evaporation, the ratio of E0 to E601 and the silt-clay particle content (grain diameter less than 0.02 mm) is negatively exponentially correlated, and that soil thermal capacity plays a key role in phreatic evaporation at E0. The results of this analysis therefore imply that the treatment of zero phreatic depth is an essential requirement when constructing groundwater balance stations to study the law of phreatic evaporation.

Key wordsphreatic evaporation      water table depth      water surface evaporation      soil texture      soil thermal capacity     
Received: 27 December 2017      Published: 07 November 2018
Corresponding Authors: Shunjun HU     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Shunjun HU, Yongde GAN, Yongbao CHEN. Comparing phreatic evaporation at zero water table depth with water surface evaporation. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(6): 968-976.

URL:     OR

[1] Averianov S F.1956. Seepage from irrigation canals and its influence on regime of ground water table. In: Kostiakov A N, Favorin N N, Averianov S F. Influence of Irrigation Systems on Regime of Ground Water.Moscow:Academic Press, 140-151. (in Russian)
[2] Blight G E.2002. Measuring evaporation from soil surfaces for environmental and geotechnical purposes. Water SA, 28(4): 381-394.
[3] Chen T F, Wang X S, Li H L, et al.2013. Redistribution of groundwater evapotranspiration and water table around a well field in an unconfined aquifer: A simplified analytical model. Journal of Hydrology, 495: 162-174.
[4] Chung S O, Horton R.1987. Soil heat and water flow with a partial surface mulch. Water Resources Research, 23(12): 2175-2186.
[5] Cook F J, Rassam D W.2002. An analytical model for predicting water table dynamics during drainage and evaporation. Journal of Hydrology, 263(1-4): 105-113.
[6] Cosby B J, Hornerger G M, Clapp R B, et al.1984. A statistical exploration of the relationships of soil moisture characteristics to the physical properties of soils. Water Resources Research, 20(6): 682-690.
[7] Cui M X.2006. Agricultural Meteorology. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 64-65. (in Chinese)
[8] De Vries D A. 1963. Thermal properties of soils. In: Van Wijk W R. Physics of Plant Environment. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing, 210-235.
[9] Don J, William P G.1958. Elements of Applied Hydrology. New York: Ronal Press, 150-151.
[10] Fan S X, Dao Y F, Liu J.2014. Principles of Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 91-94. (in Chinese)
[11] Fang M H.2009. Environmental Hydrology. Beijing: China Science and Technology Press, 15. (in Chinese)
[12] Guan H.2010. Hydrology. Beijing: Science Press, 26. (in Chinese)
[13] Han B Z, Liu J Z, Fu J W.2009. Concept of soil evaporation and its determining method. Heilongjiang Science and Technology of Water Conservancy, 37(2): 106. (in Chinese)
[14] Hanks R J, Ashcroft G L.1984.Applied Soil Physics:Soil Water and Temperature Applications . Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 104-106.
[15] Hanks R J.1992. Applied Soil Physics: Soil Water and Temperature Applications (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlog New York, Inc., 87-88, 114.
[16] Hillel D.1998. Environmental Soil Physics. New York: Academic Press, 514-515.
[17] Hillel D.2004. Introduction to Environmental Soil Physics. New York: Academic Press, 343-344.
[18] Hu F R, Hou Y G.1988. Principles of Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 89. (in Chinese)
[19] Hu S J, Tian C Y, Song Y D.2009. Empirical models of calculating phreatic evaporation from bare soil in Tarim River Basin, Xinjiang. Environmental Earth Sciences, 59(3): 663-668.
[20] Huo C R, Wang Y L.1988. Groundwater Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 104. (in Chinese)
[21] Jin G Y.1982. Evaluation of Groundwater Resources in a Plain Area. Beijing: China Hydraulic Press, 41-47. (in Chinese)
[22] Johnson E, Yá?ez J, Ortiz C, et al.2010. Evaporation from shallow groundwater in closed basins in the Chilean Altiplano. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55(4): 624-635.
[23] Jury W A, Gardner W R, Gardner W H.1991. Soil Physics (5th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, 178-184.
[24] Lal R, Shukla M K.2004. Principles of Soil Physics. New York: Marcel Dekker, 411.
[25] Lei Z D, Yang S X, Xie S C.1988. Soil-Water Dynamics. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press, 133-146. (in Chinese)
[26] Liang X T.1992. Principles of Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 99. (in Chinese)
[27] Lu Z Q, Pu X G.2006. Calculating model study of the soil evaporation in the Heilongjiang region. South to North Water Transfers and Water Science & Technology, 4(Suppl.): 39-41. (in Chinese)
[28] Ma Y J, Shen B, Tumaerbay H.2006. Spacing of drainage ditches in field under the influence of evaporation. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 37(10): 1264-1269. (in Chinese)
[29] Mao X M, Li M, Shen Y L, et al.1998. Analysis of the phreatic evaporation in Yarkant River Basin, Xinjiang. Arid Land Geography, 21(3): 44-50. (in Chinese)
[30] Moldup P, Olesen T, Schj?nning P, et al.2000. Predicting the gas diffusion coefficient in undisturbed soil from soil water characteristics. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 64(1): 94-100.
[31] Qu X Y, Zhang Y Y, Su J X, et al.1983. Phreatic evaporation and calculation of non-stable flow drainage under depth index relations n=3. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, (9): 48-53. (in Chinese)
[32] Ridolfi L, D'Odorico P, Laio F, et al.2008. Coupled stochastic dynamics of water table and soil moisture in bare soil conditions. Water Resources Research, 44(1): 423-432.
[33] Rui X F.2014. Principles of Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 114-118. (in Chinese)
[34] Saxena G S, Taylor G S, Prankling R E.1971. Effect of environmental factors on evaporation rates from soils in the presence of a water table. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, 19: 23-29.
[35] Shah N, Nachabe M, Ross M.2007. Extinction depth and evapotranspiration from ground water under selected land covers. Groundwater, 45(3): 329-338.
[36] Shang S H, Mao X M, Lei Z al.1999. Inverse-logistic formula for calculation of phreatic evaporation coefficient. Irrigation and Drainage, 18(2): 18-21. (in Chinese)
[37] Shen B, Huang H H.2015. Principles of Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 66-69. (in Chinese)
[38] Shen Z R.1992. Water resources scientific experiment and research—atmospheric, surface, soil and ground water interactions. Beijing: China Science and Technology Press, 213-231. (in Chinese)
[39] Shi C X.1959. Land Hydrology. Beijing: Science Press, 215-217. (in Chinese)
[40] Shi C X, Liang R J.1964. Principles of Land Hydrology. Beijing: China Industry Press, 30-31. (in Chinese)
[41] Shi W J, Xing X G, Zhang Z H, et al.2013. Groundwater evaporation from saline soil under plastic mulch with different percentage of open area. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment, 11(2): 1268-1271.
[42] Shu L C, Tao Y Z.2009. Groundwater Hydrology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 88-90. (in Chinese)
[43] Tang D X, Liu Y R, Zhang W S, et al.1992. Engineering Geology. Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 28. (in Chinese)
[44] Tang H X, Su Y S, Zhang H P.1989. Experimental research on phreatic evaporation and improvement of its empirical formula. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 10: 37-44. (in Chinese)
[45] Tindall J A, Kunkel J R, Anderson D E.1999. Unsaturated Zone Hydrology for Scientists and Engineers. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 215, 230-231.
[46] Wang C J.1993. Calculation and Evaluation of Water Resources. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 147-148. (in Chinese)
[47] Wang K.2016. Soil and Crop Science (4th ed.). Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 18. (in Chinese)
[48] Wang Q J.2016. Soil Physics and Crop Growth Model. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 87-93. (in Chinese)
[49] Wang W Y, Shen B, Li Z L.1994. Drain-spacing calculation considering influence of evaporation. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 120(3): 563-572.
[50] Williams W D .1987. Salinization of rivers and streams: an important environmental hazard. Ambio, 16(4): 180-185.
[51] Wu H G, Zhang Z M.1986. Meteorology. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 159. (in Chinese)
[52] Xu W C.2011. Calculation and Management of Water Resources. Beijing: Science Press, 22-23, 96-97. (in Chinese)
[53] Yang F, Zhang G X, Yin X R, et al.2011. Study on capillary rise from shallow groundwater and critical water table depth of a saline-sodic soil in western Songnen plain of China. Environmental Earth Sciences, 64(8): 2119-2126.
[54] Yu Q H.1993. Study of the evaporation of phreatic water in the northeastern margin of Tarim Basin. Xinjiang Geology, 11(3): 246-254. (in Chinese)
[55] Zammouri M.2001. Case study of water table evaporation at Ichkeul Marshes (Tunisia). Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 127(5): 265-271.
[56] Zarei G, Homaee M, Liaghat A M.2002. An analytical solution of nonsteady evaporation from bare soils with shallow ground water table. Developments in Water Science, 47(2): 113-120.
[57] Zarei G, Homaee M, Liaghat A M.2009. Modeling transient evaporation from descending shallow groundwater table based on Brooks-Corey retention function. Water Resources Management, 23(14): 2867-2876.
[58] Zarei G, Homaee M, Liaghat A M, et al.2010. A model for soil surface evaporation based on Campbell's retention curve. Journal of Hydrology, 380(3-4): 356-361.
[59] Zhang C X.1996. Analysis on relationship between water surface evaporation and phreatic evaporation when phreatic depth is zero for different soils. Water Resources Research, 17(2): 27-28. (in Chinese)
[60] Zhang W Z.1986. New drainage formulas considering delayed gravity response and evaporation from shallow water table. In: Smith K V H, Rycroft D W. Hydraulic Design in Water Resources Engineering: Land drainage. Berlin: Spring-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg , 35-47.
[61] Zhang W Z.1996. Groundwater and Soil Water Dynamics. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 239-242. (in Chinese)
[62] Zhang W Z, Shen R K.1998. Groundwater and Groundwater Control. Beijing: China Water and Power Press, 102-122. (in Chinese)
[63] Zhang W Z.2013. Calculation of Unsteady Flow of Groundwater and Evaluation of Groundwater Resources. Wuhan: Wuhan University Press, 10-12. (in Chinese)
[64] Zheng Z J.1951. Hydrology. Shanghai: The Commercial Press, 79. (in Chinese)
[1] ZHANG Yongkun, HUANG Mingbin. Spatial variability and temporal stability of actual evapotranspiration on a hillslope of the Chinese Loess Plateau[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(2): 189-204.
[2] PEI Yanwu, HUANG Laiming, SHAO Ming'an, ZHANG Yinglong. Responses of Amygdalus pedunculata Pall. in the sandy and loamy soils to water stress[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 791-805.
[3] GONG Yidan, XING Xuguang, WANG Weihua. Factors determining soil water heterogeneity on the Chinese Loess Plateau as based on an empirical mode decomposition method[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(3): 462-472.
[4] Dongyan JIN, J MURRAY Phil, Xiaoping XIN, Yifei QIN, Baorui CHEN, Gele QING, Zhao ZHANG, Ruirui YAN. Attribution of explanatory factors for change in soil organic carbon density in the native grasslands of Inner Mongolia, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(3): 375-387.
[5] WANG Zhongyuan, XIE Jiangbo, LI Yan. Safety-efficiency trade-offs in the cotton xylem: acclimatization to different soil textures[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2016, 8(3): 443-452.