Modelling coupled water and heat transport in a soil-mulch-plant-atmosphere continuum (SMPAC) system

C. L. Wu, Kwok Wing Chau, J. S. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a physically based model coupling water and heat transport in a soil-mulch-plant-atmosphere continuum (SMPAC) system, in which a transparent polyethylene mulch is applied to a winter wheat crop. The purpose of the study is to simulate profiles of soil water content and temperature for different stages of wheat growth. The mass and energy balance equations are constructed to determine upper boundary conditions of governing equations. Energy parameters are empirically formulated and calibrated from three-month field observed data. Resistance parameters in the SMPAC system are calculated. The mass and energy equations are solved by an iterative Newton-Raphson technique and a finite difference method is used to solve the governing equations. Water-consuming experiments are performed within the growing period of wheat. The results show that the model is quite satisfactory, particularly for high soil water content, in simulating the water and temperature profiles during the growth of the winter wheat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-169
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


  • Coupled water and heat transport model
  • Energy balance equations
  • SMPAC system
  • Transparent polyethylene mulch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Control and Optimization

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