Modeling macropore transport of agricultural chemicals on a river floodplain: Atrazine transport simulation Academic Article uri icon


  • The United States Geological Survey (USGS) model Variably Saturated Two Dimensional Transport (VS2DT) was used to simulate macropore transport of atrazine through a highly structured clay soil to a sand and gravel floodplain aquifer at a field research site in Burleson County, Texas. A simulation of preferential flow through the surface clay was successfully coupled with a simulation of groundwater flow in a floodplain aquifer. Simulated groundwater flow and atrazine transport compared favorably with field measured values. The water levels in the floodplain aquifer were primarily influenced by fluctuations in river stage. Simulated groundwater and surface water flows into and out of the aquifer were calculated. Groundwater discharge from the aquifer to the river averaged 0.023 m3/s/km during low river stages. Surface water recharge to the aquifer averaged 0.022 m3/s/km during high river stages. Simulated atrazine transport through the clay soil domain resulted in atrazine losses (percent of total applied) of 7% in 1994 and 15% in 1995. A pumping test at the research site and more rainfall in 1995 than in 1994 resulted in simulated atrazine transport to the bottom of the sand and gravel aquifer (19 m). Atrazine was not transported to the river in groundwater flow during model simulations. Simulated atrazine concentrations were validated using measured concentrations throughout the study period.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chakka, K. B., & Munster, C. L.

complete list of authors

  • Chakka, KB||Munster, CL

publication date

  • September 1997