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Mobilization and transport of pesticides with runoff and suspended sediment during flooding events in an agricultural catchment of Southern Brazil

Abstract : Brazil is one of the largest consumers of pesticides in the world, and these chemicals present a high contamination risk for the country’s water bodies. The mechanisms of mobilization and transport of pesticides from cropland to river systems are controlled by runoff and erosion processes occurring at the catchment scale. In addition to the excessive use of pesticides, the transport processes of these substances are also accelerated by inadequate soil management and the absence of soil conservation measures at the catchment scale. The current research relied on hydrological monitoring to investigate the transport and persistence of pesticides in response to hydrological dynamics. The study was conducted in the Conceição River watershed where runoff and suspended sediment fluxes are continuously monitored at the outlet. This study area is representative of the grain production system in southern Brazil including the application of large amounts of pesticides combined with extensive runoff and erosion problems. Sample collection in the river for pesticide analysis included the analysis of both water and suspended sediment. The sediment deposit analysis was performed in a single location at 4 depths. Results demonstrate the occurrence of pesticides including simazine, 2,4-D, carbendazim, imidacloprid, tebuconazole, propiconazole, tetraconazole, and trifloxystrobin in water, while glyphosate and AMPA were detected in suspended sediments, and AMPA and carbendazim were found in sediment deposits. The study demonstrated the strong dependence of the mechanisms of pesticide mobilization and transport in the catchment with the intra- and interevent variability of hydro-sedimentary processes. Pesticide detections can be related to several factors, including the magnitude of the rainfall event, the period of pesticide application, or the transport of suspended sediment. All these factors are correlated, and the mechanisms of transportation play an important role in the connections between sink and sources. The results suggest that pesticide monitoring should take into account the runoff and erosion pathways in each particular catchment, and it should especially include the monitoring of major rainfall events for identifying and quantifying the occurrence of pesticides in the environment. The transport of pesticides indicates to be potentiated by intensive pesticide use, the magnitude of rainfall-runoff events, and the absence of runoff control measures (e.g., terracing). These results demonstrate that water and soil conservation techniques should be planned and coordinated at the watershed scale to reduce the connectivity of water and sediment flows from agricultural areas to river systems with the implementation of effective runoff control practices. This will control the mobilization agents (runoff), as well as limit the connection between the sources and the water bodies.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 11:22:19 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 10:50:20 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, June 26, 2021 - 6:34:34 PM

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Elizeu Jonas Didoné, Jean Paolo Gomes Minella, Tales Tiecher, Renato Zanella, Osmar Damian Prestes, et al.. Mobilization and transport of pesticides with runoff and suspended sediment during flooding events in an agricultural catchment of Southern Brazil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2021, 021, ⟨10.1007/s11356-021-13303-z⟩. ⟨cea-03180741⟩

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