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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-19
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-19
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Feb 2019

Research article | 06 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Hydrological tracers for assessing transport and dissipation processes of pesticides in a model constructed wetland system

Elena Fernández-Pascual1, Marcus Bork1,2, Birte Hensen3, and Jens Lange1 Elena Fernández-Pascual et al.
  • 1Hydrology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Soil Ecology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 3Institute of Sustainable and Environmental Chemistry, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany

Abstract. Hydrological tracers have been recently used as a low-cost approach to study the fate and transport of pesticides in constructed wetlands. Yet, internal temporal and spatial mechanisms that dominate their transport and dissipation in such environments are still not fully understood. We have applied three tracers with different sorptive and reactive properties: bromide (Br), uranine (UR) and sulforhodamine B (SRB) to investigate dominant temporal and spatial transport and dissipation processes of three selected pesticides: boscalid, penconazole and metazachlor in a model constructed wetland system designed to perform high vertical-resolution sampling and monitoring on a long-term basis. The experimental observations revealed that two different preferential flow paths developed, one due to the constructional design of the inflow and the other one due to the influence of the free water at the surface along with the plants. Transport of solutes was driven by the injections and dominated for Br, UR and metazachlor. The final mass balance highlighted that the main dissipation pathways were sorption, transformation and plant uptake. Sorption was detected immediately after the injection of solutes, while transformation was enhanced by the presence of plants and the promotion of aerobic conditions. The detection of metazachlor transformation products confirmed the contribution of transformation to metazachlor dissipation, whereas boscalid and penconazole mainly experienced sorption processes. The use of hydrological tracers together with selected pesticides and coupled with high vertical-resolution sampling and monitoring proved to provide valuable information about transport vectors and dissipation processes of pesticides in a vegetated redox-dynamic environment on a long-term basis and detailed spatial scale.

Elena Fernández-Pascual et al.
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Elena Fernández-Pascual et al.
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Short summary
In this study we explore the use of hydrological tracers coupled with high vertical-resolution sampling and monitoring as a novel approach to evaluate temporal and spatial mechanisms that dominate transport and dissipation of pesticides in a constructed wetland. Our results reveal different transport vectors and dissipation pathways of solutes over time and space that have been influenced by the constructional design, the presence of plants and the alternation of different hydrologic conditions.
In this study we explore the use of hydrological tracers coupled with high vertical-resolution...
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