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Gross fluxes and estuarine behaviour of pesticides in the Scheldt Estuary (1995-1997)
Steen, R.J.C.A.; Van der Vaart, J.; Hiep, M.; Van Hattum, B.; Cofino, W.P.; Brinkman, U.A.Th. (2001). Gross fluxes and estuarine behaviour of pesticides in the Scheldt Estuary (1995-1997). Environ. Pollut. 115(1): 65-79. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0269-7491(01)00085-9
In: Environmental Pollution. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0269-7491, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Pesticides; Brackish water; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Steen, R.J.C.A., more
  • Van der Vaart, J.
  • Hiep, M.
  • Van Hattum, B., more
  • Cofino, W.P.
  • Brinkman, U.A.Th., more

Abstract
    As part of the Fluxes of Agrochemicals into the Marine Environment (FAME) project, the gross fluxes of selected pesticides (i.e. the herbicides atrazine, simazine, alachlor and metolachlor, the atrazine degradation product desethylatrazine, the insecticide dichlorvos and the antifouling agent Irgarol 1051) transported by the river Scheldt and the Canal Ghent-Terneuzen were determined from March 1995 through February 1997. In general, the observed temporal trends were related to the application period of the pesticides, except for metolachlor for which elevated concentrations were observed in the winter of 1995-1996. Relatively large gross fluxes were found for desethylatrazine compared with its parent compound. A study on the estuarine behaviour of pesticides showed distinct differences between the compound classes. The mixing plots of the organophosphorus insecticides dichlorvos and diazinon revealed clear evidence of estuarine loss processes which agrees with their low DT50 values reported for water/sediment systems, their relatively high Henry's law constants and, for diazinon, its relatively high Koc value. The mixing plots of the acetanilides alachlor and metolachlor were strongly influenced by an additional direct emission into the estuary, which was evident from a maximum in dissolved concentration near a salinity of 10‰. An apparent conservative behaviour was observed for the triazine compounds atrazine and Irgarol 1051. This was in contrast to simazine, which showed an apparent non-conservative behaviour. However, the time profiles of the riverine concentrations of simazine did not exclude that the observed curvature was solely caused by estuarine losses; therefore, additional modelling is required. In a follow-up study a suitable hydrological model of the Scheldt estuary was constructed; the results will be presented in a forthcoming paper (Steen, R.J.C.A., Evers, E.H.G., Van Hattum, B., Cofino, W.P. and Brinkman, U.A.Th. Net fluxes of pesticides from the Scheldt estuary into the North Sea: a model approach. Enviromental Pollution, submitted).

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