About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Vadose Zone Processes and Chemical Transport

Interrelationship of Macropores and Subsurface Drainage for Conservative Tracer and Pesticide Transport


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 6, p. 2281-2289
    Received: Feb 20, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): gafox@olemiss.edu
Request Permissions

  1. Garey A. Fox *a,
  2. Rob Maloneb,
  3. George J. Sabbaghc and
  4. Ken Rojasd
  1. a Dep. of Civil Eng., Univ. of Mississippi, 208 Carrier Hall, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848
    b USDA-ARS, National Soil Tilth Lab., 2150 Pammel Dr., Ames, IA 50011-4420
    c Bayer CropScience Res. Park, 17745 S. Metcalf Ave., Stilwell, KS 66085
    d USDA-ARS, 2150 Centre Ave., Building D, Suite 200, Ft. Collins, CO 80526


Macropore flow results in the rapid movement of pesticides to subsurface drains, which may be caused in part by a small portion of macropores directly connected to drains. However, current models fail to account for this direct connection. This research investigated the interrelationship between macropore flow and subsurface drainage on conservative solute and pesticide transport using the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM). Potassium bromide tracer and isoxaflutole, the active ingredient in BALANCE herbicide [(5-cyclopropyl-4-isoxazolyl) [2(methylsulfonyl)-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] methanone], with average half-life of 1.7 d were applied to a 30.4-ha Indiana corn (Zea mays L.) field. Water flow and chemical concentrations emanating from the drains were measured from two samplers. Model predictions of drain flow after minimal calibration reasonably matched observations (slope = 1.03, intercept = 0.01, and R 2 = 0.75). Without direct hydraulic connection of macropores to drains, RZWQM under predicted bromide and isoxaflutole concentration during the first measured peak after application (e.g., observed isoxaflutole concentration was between 1.2 and 1.4 μg L−1, RZWQM concentration was 0.1 μg L−1). This research modified RZWQM to include an express fraction relating the percentage of macropores in direct hydraulic connection to drains. The modified model captured the first measured peak in bromide and isoxaflutole concentrations using an express fraction of 2% (e.g., simulated isoxaflutole concentration increased to 1.7 μg L−1). The RZWQM modified to include a macropore express fraction more accurately simulates chemical movement through macropores to subsurface drains. An express fraction is required to match peak concentrations in subsurface drains shortly after chemical applications.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA