Experimental and numerical study of the relation between flow paths and fate of a pesticide in a riparian wetland

Jacob Kidmose, Mette Dahl, Peter Engesgaard, Bertel Nilsson, Britt S.B. Christensen, Stine Andersen, Carl Christian Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A field-scale pulse-injection experiment with the herbicide Isoproturon was conducted in a Danish riparian wetland. A non-reactive tracer (bromide) experiment was also carried out to characterize the physical transport system. Groundwater flow and reactive transport modelling was used to simulate flow paths, residence times, as well as bromide and Isoproturon distributions. The wetland can be characterized by two distinct riparian flow paths; one flow path discharges 2/3 of the incoming groundwater directly to the free water surface of the wetland near the foot of the hillslope with an average residence time of 205 days, and another flow path diffusively discharging the remaining 1/3 of the incoming groundwater to the stream with an average residence time of 425 days. The reactive transport simulations reveal that Isoproturon is retarded by a factor of 2-4, which is explained by the high organic content in the peat layer of the wetland. Isoproturon was found to be aerobically degraded with a half-life in the order of 12-80 days. Based on the quantification of flow paths, residence times and half-lives it is estimated that about 2/3 of the injected Isoproturon is removed in the wetland. Thus, close to 1/3 may find its way to the stream through overland flow. It is also possible that high concentrations of metabolites will reach the stream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2010


  • Flow paths
  • Isoproturon
  • Modelling
  • Pesticide degradation
  • Tracer experiment
  • Wetland

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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