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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

User subjectivity in Monte Carlo modeling of pesticide exposure

Beulke S, Brown CD, Dubus IG, Galicia H, Jarvis N, Schaefer D, Trevisan M


Monte Carlo techniques are increasingly used in pesticide exposure modeling to evaluate the uncertainty in predictions a-rising from uncertainty in input parameters and to estimate the confidence that should be assigned to the modeling results. The approach typically involves running a deterministic model repeatedly for a large number of input values sampled from statistical distributions. In the present study, six modelers made choices regarding the type and parameterization of distributions assigned to degradation and sorption data for an example pesticide, the correlation between the parameters, the tool and method used for sampling, and the number of samples generated. A leaching assessment was carried out using a single model and scenario and all data for sorption and degradation generated by the six modelers. The distributions of sampled parameters differed between the modelers. and the agreement with the measured data was variable. Large differences were found between the upper percentiles of simulated concentrations in leachate. The probability of exceeding 0.1 mu g/L ranged from 0 to 35.7%. The present study demonstrated that subjective choices made in Monte Carlo modeling introduce variability into probabilistic modeling and that the results need to be interpreted with care

Published in

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
2006, volume: 25, number: 8, pages: 2227-2236
Publisher: SETAC

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences
Beulke, S
Brown, C.D
Galicia, H
Schaefer, D
Trevisan, D
Dubus, I.G

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agricultural Science

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