A European test of pesticide-leaching models: methodology and major recommendations

M. Vanclooster, J.J.T.I. Boesten, M. Trevisan, C.D. Brown, E. Capri, O.M. Eklo, B. Gottesbüren, V. Gouy, A.M.A. van der Linden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Testing of pesticide-leaching models is important in view of their increasing use in pesticide registration procedures in the European Union. This paper presents the methodology and major conclusions of a test of pesticide-leaching models. Twelve models simulating the vertical one-dimensional movement of water, solute, heat, and, in particular, pesticides, through the soil profile were used by 36 different modellers. The adopted modelling codes differ in terms of modelling concepts and modelling hypothesis. Modellers were affiliated to industry and to the scientific community as well. Four quality datasets were identified to perform the analysis. The dataset included field and lysimeter data, collected in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the UK. As well, non-structured as structured soils were available in the dataset. To elucidate the ability to model correctly water transport, solute transport, heat transport and pesticide transport in soils, a stepwise evaluation approach was followed. Splitting up the experimental dataset enabled us to quantify the calibration capability and the prediction capability of the models. The simulations were performed by different model users enabling us also to characterise output variability in terms of user dependent interpretation of the model input and parameters. Recommendations are formulated for improving the quality of modelling datasets, and the process description of water, solute, and heat transport in a pesticide-leaching model, plus the process description of pesticide fate. Application of the principles of good modelling practice (GMP) is briefly described
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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