A meta-analysis of labyrinth channel emitter clogging characteristics under Yellow River water drip tape irrigation

Chang Lv, Wenquan Niu, Yadan Du, Jun Sun, Aihong Dong, Menglong Wu, Fei Mu, Jinjin Zhu, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emitter clogging restricts the promotion and application of drip irrigation technology for Yellow River water. The influence degree of water quality, flow path structure, and operation time on emitter clogging varies. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine the impact of sediment concentration, sediment particle size, flow path structure [including length (L), width (W), depth (D), minimum cross-sectional size (min (W, D)), and cross-sectional area (A) of flow path], rated flow rate (Q), and operation time on emitter clogging in drip irrigation using Yellow River water to identify viable strategies for alleviating emitter clogging in Yellow River water drip irrigation. The results showed that using drip irrigation with Yellow River water is feasible, and it is important to vigorously develop efficient agricultural irrigation technologies such as drip irrigation in the Yellow River basin. Sediment concentration is the main factor affecting emitter clogging in the Yellow River water drip irrigation. For sediment concentrations below 0.5 g/L, effective operation could be maintained for up to 450 h. The sediment concentration of Yellow River water drip irrigation should not exceed 1.3 g/L to prevent severe clogging. In addition, irrigation methods should involve short single irrigation times and high frequencies, with increased lateral flushing measures. The traditional assumption that a larger W, D, min (W, D), A, or Q leads to superior anti-clogging performance did not hold universally. Across different sediment concentration and operation time combinations, the emitter's anti-clogging ability first increased and then decreased with increasing min (W, D), and anti-clogging ability gradually decreased with increasing L. The high anti-clogging min (W, D) is 0.64 mm, and L should be 30–50 mm to reduce the clogging risk while playing a role in energy dissipation. These research findings offer valuable insights for selecting emitters and developing anti-clogging strategies specific to Yellow River water drip irrigation, serving as a solid theoretical basis for enhancing the efficiency and reliability of high sediment-laden water drip irrigation systems worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108634
Number of pages10
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Early online date15 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


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