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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Ground Water Quality

Mapping Ground Water Vulnerability to Pesticide Leaching with a Process-Based Metamodel of EuroPEARL


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 1213-1226
    Received: Sept 30, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): aaldrik.tiktak@mnp.nl
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  1. A. Tiktak *a,
  2. J. J. T. I. Boestenb,
  3. A. M. A. van der Lindenc and
  4. M. Vancloosterd
  1. a Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (NEAA), P.O. Box 303, 3720 AH Bilthoven, the Netherlands
    b Alterra, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
    c RIVM, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, the Netherlands
    d Université Catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium


To support EU policy, indicators of pesticide leaching at the European level are required. For this reason, a metamodel of the spatially distributed European pesticide leaching model EuroPEARL was developed. EuroPEARL considers transient flow and solute transport and assumes Freundlich adsorption, first-order degradation and passive plant uptake of pesticides. Physical parameters are depth dependent while (bio)-chemical parameters are depth, temperature, and moisture dependent. The metamodel is based on an analytical expression that describes the mass fraction of pesticide leached. The metamodel ignores vertical parameter variations and assumes steady flow. The calibration dataset was generated with EuroPEARL and consisted of approximately 60 000 simulations done for 56 pesticides with different half-lives and partitioning coefficients. The target variable was the 80th percentile of the annual average leaching concentration at 1-m depth from a time series of 20 yr. The metamodel explains over 90% of the variation of the original model with only four independent spatial attributes. These parameters are available in European soil and climate databases, so that the calibrated metamodel could be applied to generate maps of the predicted leaching concentration in the European Union. Maps generated with the metamodel showed a good similarity with the maps obtained with EuroPEARL, which was confirmed by means of quantitative performance indicators.

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Copyright © 2006. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA