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Comparison of Two Parametric Methods to Estimate Pesticide Mass Loads in California’s Central Valley

Authors


  • Paper No. JAWRA-09-0197-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA).. Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Saleh: dsaleh@usgs.gov).

Abstract

Saleh, Dina K., David L. Lorenz, and Joseph L. Domagalski, 2010. Comparison of Two Parametric Methods to Estimate Pesticide Mass Loads in California’s Central Valley. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 00(0):1-11. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00506.x

Abstract:  Mass loadings were calculated for four pesticides in two watersheds with different land uses in the Central Valley, California, by using two parametric models: (1) the Seasonal Wave model (SeaWave), in which a pulse signal is used to describe the annual cycle of pesticide occurrence in a stream, and (2) the Sine Wave model, in which first-order Fourier series sine and cosine terms are used to simulate seasonal mass loading patterns. The models were applied to data collected during water years 1997 through 2005. The pesticides modeled were carbaryl, diazinon, metolachlor, and molinate. Results from the two models show that the ability to capture seasonal variations in pesticide concentrations was affected by pesticide use patterns and the methods by which pesticides are transported to streams. Estimated seasonal loads compared well with results from previous studies for both models. Loads estimated by the two models did not differ significantly from each other, with the exceptions of carbaryl and molinate during the precipitation season, where loads were affected by application patterns and rainfall. However, in watersheds with variable and intermittent pesticide applications, the SeaWave model is more suitable for use on the basis of its robust capability of describing seasonal variation of pesticide concentrations.

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