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Peer-Review Record

Surface Salinization of Soil under Mulched Drip Irrigation

Water 2020, 12(11), 3031; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113031
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Water 2020, 12(11), 3031; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113031
Received: 11 August 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 26 October 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

  • It is suggested that the authors summarize the knowledge gap and the objective of the study at the end of the introduction section.
  • The experimental design and the method followed for the statistical analysis will have to be presented at the end of the Materials and Methods section
  • Sections 3.3.1 to 3.3.3. will have to be moved to the Materials and Methods section
  • A quantitative and qualitative assessment of the simulation results presented in 3.3.4 is missing. It is suggested that the authors compare the simulated values with the measured ones and evaluate the efficiency of the model simulation.
  • There is no clear support of the discussion by the simulation results of the present study. It is suggested that the authors elaborate more the results on this direction.

Author Response

  • It is suggested that the authors summarize the knowledge gap and the objective of the study at the end of the introduction section.

Response: The knowledge gap and objectives have been mentioned

  • The experimental design and the method followed for the statistical analysis will have to be presented at the end of the Materials and Methods section

Response: The statistical analysis which were used to analyze the accuracy of the measured and the simulated value have been added at the end of methodology.

  • Sections 3.3.1 to 3.3.3. will have to be moved to the Materials and Methods section

Response: The section has been moved to the methodology (now as section 2.5)

  • A quantitative and qualitative assessment of the simulation results presented in 3.3.4 is missing. It is suggested that the authors compare the simulated values with the measured ones and evaluate the efficiency of the model simulation.

Response: The qualitative and quantitative assessment has been added. Root mean square error (RMSE) and coefficient of determination (R2) are used to access the level of agreement between the simulated and observed values.

  • There is no clear support of the discussion by the simulation results of the present study. It is suggested that the authors elaborate more the results on this direction.

Response: The changes have  been made according to the suggestion.

 

Reviewer 2 Report

This paper describes a study of soil salinity monitoring at two study sites under drip irrigation and mulch consisting of a plastic film. Although the study can provide interesting results regarding irrigation practices, the manuscript has serious flaws and the authors should consider a thorough and systematic revision of the text. Some of the main faults that should be improved:

  • The introduction must provide a more clear description of the aim, approach of the study and its novelty in relation to previous works.
  • The material and methods is incomplete and unclear:
    • The characterization of the regional climate should appear before the description of experimental fields and include rainfall and potential evapotranspiration ( and not the evaporation!). There should be a clear description of the soil salinity issues in the site.
    • The use of expressions such as "secondary salinization" doesn't seem to follow the common understanding of what is secondary salinization (induced by human activities).
    • The description of the study sites must be more structured and clear: for example, it is mentioned that the fields were “reclaimed” but it is not said what the reclamation was about. Describe the difference between the sites and why they were chosen.
    • Some sentences refer to experimental methods without referring their usefulness in the context of the present work. Also, it is not clearly explained for instance how soil salinity is determined.
    • There is no overall description of the methodology used in the study, for instance, no reference to the numerical simulation. Much of the description about the methodology seems to be presented only in the results. The information must be consistently revised in order to present the methodology in the “material and methods”.
  • the results present values without mentioning to which field they refer to (eg. section 3.1). And because the approach as not clearly defined previously it is not possible to understand the aim of the numerical simulations or neither the results in the different time spans that are referred to.
  • overall, the study can potentially provide interesting scientific results but the aim, materials, methodology, results, and conclusion must be more structured and clear in order to fully understand the study that was carried out.

Author Response

  • The introduction must provide a more clear description of the aim, approach of the study and its novelty in relation to previous works.

Response: The knowledge gap and objectives have been mentioned.

  • The characterization of the regional climate should appear before the description of experimental fields and include rainfall and potential evapotranspiration (and not the evaporation!). There should be a clear description of the soil salinity issues in the site.

Response: The description of climate has been mentioned before the description of fields.

  • The use of expressions such as "secondary salinization" doesn't seem to follow the common understanding of what is secondary salinization (induced by human activities).

Response: Secondary salinization generally refers to salt retention in the plow layer or on the soil surface from rising underground water and moisture evaporation or irrigation with brackish water (mentioned in introduction)

  • The description of the study sites must be more structured and clear: for example, it is mentioned that the fields were “reclaimed” but it is not said what the reclamation was about. Describe the difference between the sites and why they were chosen.

Response: reclamation was conducted by flood irrigation and has been mentioned in methodology.

  • Some sentences refer to experimental methods without referring their usefulness in the context of the present work. Also, it is not clearly explained for instance how soil salinity is determined.

Response: Some of the basic descriptions are given because they have an effect on the data from the article, so they are written in the article. The soil salinity was measured as electrical conductivity of 1:5 soil/water suspension. Furthermore, the reference 21, 22 and 23 have been added in methodology to refer to the method used to record observation.

  • There is no overall description of the methodology used in the study, for instance, no reference to the numerical simulation. Much of the description about the methodology seems to be presented only in the results. The information must be consistently revised in order to present the methodology in the “material and methods”.

Response: The manuscript has been structured again. The methods are moved to the methodology and references have been included.

  • the results present values without mentioning to which field they refer to (eg section 3.1). And because the approach as not clearly defined previously it is not possible to understand the aim of the numerical simulations or neither the results in the different time spans that are referred to.

Response: The soil salinity was determined in both fields; 3.1 section is related with field 2 and 3.2 for field 1 (highlighted)

  • overall, the study can potentially provide interesting scientific results but the aim, materials, methodology, results, and conclusion must be more structured and clear in order to fully understand the study that was carried out.

Response: The whole manuscript has been re-structured. The objectives have been mentioned at the end of the introduction. The methodology section has been revised and divided into subsections.

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