This post describes the development of a 2D and 3D soil wetting and nutrient pattern tool that will be part of The Vineyard of The Future project.
This figure shows the wetting patterns obtained using the tool that interpolates soil moisture data within the root-zone. Figures from top left to right show a five-hour irrigation even on a sandy-loam soil before the irrigation, and consecutively after each hour of the irrigation event. The black parabolic line corresponds to the results obtained from numerical models (using WetUp, CSIRO) for the soil and irrigation specific conditions of the experiment.
A video showing a demo of a real time soil wetting pattern dynamics in an irrigation event can be seen here:
Since this tool can interpolate different data values, a fertigation event can also been visualised. This animation corresponds ta a five-hour fertigation event on a sandy-loam soil planted with 5-years-old Shiraz grapevines. Blue colours correspond to more salinity levels (nutrients) and red/yellow colours with less salinity levels. Note that most of the fertiliser added is extracted from the first 30 cm of depth, which correspond to the location of fine roots (more permeable to nutrients).
This tool will be commercially available soon through Sentek Pty. Ltd. (www.sentek.com.au)
Our group is currently working in the creation of a 3D wetting and nutrient pattern tool to visualise dynamics of water and nutrients in a defined soil volume.