Stochastic models in agricultural watersheds

Christopher J. Duffy, Lynn W. Gelhar, Peter J. Wierenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A stochastic time-series approach using spectral analysis theory is developed and applied to drainage analysis of an agricultural watershed, Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, U.S.A. The spectral theory demonstrates that a linear reservoir model is a suitable approximation to the Dupuit aquifer over a wide range of frequencies. A first-order perturbation of the variables allows the system parameters to be evaluated from both the stochastic solution of the fluctuating or zero-mean process, and the temporal-mean or steady-state solution. Deep percolation is estimated by first assuming a "no storage" situation in which recharge is a constant fraction (leaching fraction) of applied water. A second approach to deep percolation incorporates a soil-moisture reservoir to simulate storage in the soil zone. The equations developed are useful for characterizing drainage systems which exhibit a statistically stationary response to rainfall and/or irrigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Feb 10 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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