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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 20 No. 2, p. 425-435
    Received: Feb 24, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Modeling the Influence of Sorption and Transformation on Pesticide Leaching and Persistence

  1. J. J. T. I. Boesten * and
  2. A. M. A. van der Linden
  1. The Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research, P.O. Box 125, 6700 AC Wageningen, the Netherlands;
    National Inst. of Public Health and Environ. Protection, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, the Netherlands.



Pesticide leaching to ground water at 1 m depth and pesticide persistence in the plow layer were calculated with a mathematical model for a sandy soil continuously cropped with maize (Zea mays L.) and exposed to weather conditions in a temperate climate. The pesticide was applied in spring. In the model, water flow was described by Darcy's law and water uptake by the crop was included. Dally averages of meteorological conditions (rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil temperature) were used as input. The model assumes first-order transformation, equilibrium sorption (Freundlich equation), and passive plant uptake. Pesticide leaching and persistence were calculated as a function of pesticide sorption (characterized by the organic-matter/water distribution coefficient, Kom) and of transformation rate. It was found that pesticide leaching is very sensitive to both Kom and the transformation rate: changing Kom or the transformation rate by a factor of 2 changes the fraction of the dose leached typically by about a factor of 10. Pesticide persistence in the plow layer was found to be sensitive to Kom at low transformation rates and sensitive to the transformation rate at high Kom values. Additional calculations showed that autumn application results in much higher leaching of nonsorbing pesticides with short half-lives than spring application (difference of two orders of magnitude).

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