Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff modeling in a flat low-lying paddy cultivated area

Le Van Chinh, Kazuaki Hiramatsu, Masayoshi Harada, Makito Mori

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Chiyoda basin is located in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu Island, Japan, and lies next to the tidal compartment of the Chikugo River to which the excess water in the basin is drained away. Chiyoda basin has a total area of about 1,100 ha and is a typical flat and low-lying paddy-cultivated area. The main environmental issue in this basin is total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) load management because TN and TP, which loaded from farmlands, degrade surface water as a result of anthropogenic eutrophication. This paper presents a mathematical model of TN and TP runoff during an irrigation period in Chiyoda basin in order to elucidate the pollutant fluxes that accompany water transportation in paddy fields and drainage canals, and to evaluate pollutant removal from the study area to the Chikugo River. First, the water flow and the algorithm of gate operation were simulated by a continuous tank model and the accuracy of the model was then evaluated by comparing the simulated water levels with observed ones during an irrigation period. The observed and simulated water levels were in good agreement, indicating that the proposed model is applicable for drainage and water supply analyses in flat, low-lying paddy-cultivated areas. Second, the TN and TP runoff during an irrigation period was simulated based on the TN and TP loads that were determined by observed data in paddy fields. For TN runoff, the simulated results and observed data were in good agreement whereas for TP runoff, the simulated results were higher than the observed data. However, if the settled TP within the paddy tank was calculated as 6%, then the simulated results and the observed data were in good agreement. We concluded that TN runoff from paddy field to the drainage canal system was not affected much by the sediment related process. The present study could provide farmers and managers with a useful tool for controlling the water distribution in an irrigation period, and the TN and TP loads in the downstream area as well as the Chikugo River.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalPaddy and Water Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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