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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Herbicide Transport to Surface Waters at Field and Watershed Scales in a Mediterranean Vineyard Area


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 982-991
    Received: Feb 15, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): louchart@ensam.inra.fr
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  1. Xavier Louchart *,
  2. Marc Voltz,
  3. Patrick Andrieux and
  4. Roger Moussa
  1. Laboratory of Soil Science, INRA, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France


The contamination of soil and runoff water by two herbicides, diuron [N′-(3,4-dichlorphenyl)-N,N-dimethylurea] and simazine (6-chloro-N,N′-diethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine), were monitored on two fields, one no-till and one tilled. Experiments were carried out in a 91.4-ha watershed in southern France during the 1997 growing season in order to understand the patterns of pesticide transport from field to watershed. The persistence of the herbicides in soil was prolonged due to the climatic conditions. At the field scale, annual herbicide loads were due to overland flow and amounted to 65.6 and 6.3 g ha−1 of diuron for the no-till and tilled field, respectively, and to 29.6 and 1.83 g ha−1 of simazine. Maximum herbicide concentrations exceeded 580 μg L−1 during the first storm event after application and decreased thereafter but remained for 8 mo above 0.1 μg L−1 At the watershed outlet, estimated annual loads amounted to 4.12 g ha−1 of diuron and 0.56 g ha−1 of simazine. Among them, 96% of the losses in diuron and 83% of those in simazine were caused by the fast transmission through the network of ditches of the overland flow exiting the fields. For diuron, which was sprayed over most of the vineyards, its in-stream concentrations during storm flow were close to those at the outlet of the fields. The herbicide loads in baseflow were smaller than 0.2 g ha−1 The patterns of the loads at the field and watershed scales suggested that a major part of the herbicides leaving the fields reinfiltrated to the ground water by seepage through the ditches, and was there degraded or adsorbed.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:982–991.