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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

A CSM-Based Procedure for Identifying Segments of Agricultural Drainage Ditches to Be Prioritized in Maintenance Work

Ribera, Daniel Bernardo Aviles; Wesstrom, Ingrid; Joel, Abraham


Productive agricultural land is vital for food production. To help secure the productivity of drained agricultural soils, diches need to be intermittently maintained. Maintenance work is costly, however, so ditch segments in most need of maintenance should be prioritized. Here, we present a procedure for identifying drainage ditch segments likely to need maintenance based on susceptibility to soil erosion by water flowing in the ditch, evaluated using a cohesive strength meter (CSM). An important part of the procedure is to relate the pressure of the CSM jets to pressures acting on the soil. The relationship between CSM jet pressure and pressures at the soil surface was established based on measurements made with a pressure sensor plate and was applied to obtain several values for pressure at the surface, which were used in turn to estimate critical shear stress for erosion. The results showed that the CSM-based method was able to identify differences in critical shear stress for erosion for different field soils. This information can be useful in identifying drainage ditch segments that should be prioritized for maintenance work.


Drainage data acquisition; Drainage maintenance; Drainage performance evaluation; Soil erosion

Published in

Journal of the ASABE
2023, Volume: 66, number: 4, pages: 879-885