Simulation of water movement and isoproturon behaviour in a heavy clay soil using the MACRO model
- 1Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK
- 2Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7014, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
- *Now at Sir William Halcrow & Partners Ltd, Burderop Park, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 0QD
Abstract. In this paper, the dual-porosity MACRO model has been used to investigate methods of reducing leaching of isoproturon from a structured heavy clay soil. The MACRO model was applied to a pesticide leaching data-set generated from a plot scale experiment on a heavy clay soil at the Oxford University Farm, Wytham, England. The field drain was found to be the most important outflow from the plot in terms of pesticide removal. Therefore, this modelling exercise concentrated on simulating field drain flow. With calibration of field-saturated and micropore saturated hydraulic conductivity, the drain flow hydrographs were simulated during extended periods of above average rainfall, with both the hydrograph shape and peak flows agreeing well. Over the whole field season, the observed drain flow water budget was well simulated. However, the first and second drain flow events after pesticide application were not simulated satisfactorily. This is believed to be due to a poor simulation of evapotranspiration during a period of low rainfall around the pesticide application day. Apart from an initial rapid drop in the observed isoproturon soil residue, the model simulated isoproturon residues during the 100 days after pesticide application reasonably well. Finally, the calibrated model was used to show that changes in agricultural practice (deep ploughing, creating fine consolidated seed beds and organic matter applications) could potentially reduce pesticide leaching to surface waters by up to 60%.