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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Simulating sulfadimidine transport in surface runoff and soil at the microplot and field scale

Larsbo, Mats; Fenner, K; Stoob, Krispin; Burkhardt, Michael; Abbaspour, Karim C.; Stamm, Christian


To prevent residues of veterinary medicinal products (VmPs) from contaminating surface waters and ground water, an environmental impact assessment is required before a new product is allowed on the market. Physically based simulation models are advocated for the calculation of predicted environmental concentrations at higher tiers of the assessment process. However, the validation status of potentially useful models is poor for VMP transport. The objective of this study was to evaluate the dual-permeability model MACRO for simulation of transport of sulfonamide antibiotics in surface runoff and soil. Special focus was on effects of solute application in liquid manure, which may alter the hydraulic properties at the soil surface. To this end we used data from a microplot runoff experiment and a field experiment, both conducted on the same clay loam soil prone to preferential flow. Results showed that the model could accurately simulate concentrations of sulfadimidine and the nonreactive tracer bromide in runoff and in soil from the microplot experiments. The use of posterior parameter distributions from calibrations using the microplot data resulted in poor simulations for the field data of total sulfadimidine losses. The poor results may be due to surface runoff being instantly transferred off the field in the model, whereas in reality re-infiltration may occur. The effects of the manure application were reflected in smaller total and micropore hydraulic conductivities compared with the application in aqueous solution. These effects could easily be accounted for in regulatory modeling.

Published in

Journal of Environmental Quality
2008, Volume: 37, number: 3, pages: 788-797

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

    Publication Identifiers


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