Pesticide transport pathways from a sloped litchi orchard to an adjacent tropical stream as identified by hydrograph separation

A. Duffner, J. Ingwersen, C. Hugenschmidt, T. Streck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study was performed to identify the transport pathways of pesticides from a sloped litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) orchard to a nearby stream based on a three-component hydrograph separation (baseflow, interflow, surface runoff). Dissolved silica and electrical conductivity were chosen as representative tracers. During the study period (30 d), 0.4 and 0.01% of the applied mass of atrazine and chlorpyrifos, respectively, were detected in the stream after 151 mm of rainfall. Baseflow (80–96%) was the dominant hydrological flow component, followed by interflow (3–18%) and surface runoff (1–7%). Despite its small contribution to total discharge, surface runoff was the dominant atrazine transport pathway during the first days after application because pesticide concentrations in the surface runoff flow component declined quickly within several days. Preferential transport with interflow became the dominant pathway of atrazine. Because chlorpyrifos was detected in the stream water only twice, it was not included in the hydrograph separation. A feature of the surface runoff pathway was the coincidence of pesticide and discharge peaks. In contrast, peak concentrations of pesticides transported by interflow occurred during the hydrograph recession phases. Stormflow generation and pesticide transport depended on antecedent rainfall. The combination of high-resolution pesticide concentration measurements with a three-component hydrograph separation has been shown to be a suitable method to identify pesticide transport pathways under tropical conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1323
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • climate-soil controls
  • open-fractured soil
  • hydrological processes
  • northern thailand
  • electrical-conductivity
  • conceptual examination
  • mountainous catchment
  • headwater catchment
  • preferential flow
  • isotopic tracers

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pesticide transport pathways from a sloped litchi orchard to an adjacent tropical stream as identified by hydrograph separation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this