Advances in validating SALTIRSOIL at plot scale: First results
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SALTIRSOIL (SALTS in IRrigated SOILs) is a model for the medium to long term simulation of soil salinity in irrigated, well-drained lands. Once the algorithms were verified, the objective of our study was to validate SALTIRSOIL under one of several water quality and management scenarios in Mediterranean agriculture. Because drip and surface are the most common irrigation systems in irrigated agriculture in Valencia (Spain), the validation was performed with climate, soil, irrigation water (composition and management) and crop (species and management) information from an experimental plot surface irrigated with well water and planted with watermelon that has been monitored since the late spring of 2007. To carry out the validation, first we performed a global sensitivity analysis (GSA). Second, we compared simulated soil saturation extract composition against measured data. According to the GSA, SALTIRSOIL calculations of soil salinity seem to be most affected by climate (rainfall and evapotranspiration) with 60% of explained soil salinity variance, water salinity with 26% of explained variance, and then irrigation with 4%. According to the closeness of the first comparisons between predictions and measurements, SALTIRSOIL does not seem to be affected by any systematic error, and as a consequence, neither inclusion of new parameters nor calibration of the others already included would be needed at least for surface irrigation. The validation of SALTIRSOIL continues under other water quality and irrigation management scenarios. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.