Spatial glyphosate and AMPA redistribution on the soil surface driven by sediment transport processes – A flume experiment

Bento, Célia P.M.; Commelin, Meindert C.; Baartman, Jantiene E.M.; Yang, Xiaomei; Peters, Piet; Mol, Hans G.J.; Ritsema, Coen J.; Geissen, Violette


This study investigates the influence of small-scale sediment transport on glyphosate and AMPA redistribution on the soil surface and on their off-site transport during water erosion events. Both a smooth surface (T1) and a surface with “seeding lines on the contour” (T2) were tested in a rainfall simulation experiment using soil flumes (1 × 0.5 m) with a 5% slope. A dose of 178 mg m−2 of a glyphosate-based formulation (CLINIC®) was applied on the upper 0.2 m of the flumes. Four 15-min rainfall events (RE) with 30-min interval in between and a total rainfall intensity of 30 mm h−1 were applied. Runoff samples were collected after each RE in a collector at the flume outlet. At the end of the four REs, soil and sediment samples were collected in the application area and in four 20 cm-segments downslope of the application area. Samples were collected according to the following visually distinguished soil surface groups: light sedimentation (LS), dark sedimentation (DS), background and aggregates. Results showed that runoff, suspended sediment and associated glyphosate and AMPA off-site transport were significantly lower in T2 than in T1. Glyphosate and AMPA off-site deposition was higher for T2 than for T1, and their contents on the soil surface decreased with increasing distance from the application area for all soil surface groups and in both treatments. The LS and DS groups presented the highest glyphosate and AMPA contents, but the background group contributed the most to the downslope off-site deposition. Glyphosate and AMPA off-target particle-bound transport was 9.4% (T1) and 17.8% (T2) of the applied amount, while water-dissolved transport was 2.8% (T1) and 0.5% (T2). Particle size and organic matter influenced the mobility of glyphosate and AMPA to off-target areas. These results indicate that the pollution risk of terrestrial and aquatic environments through runoff and deposition can be considerable. The downslope off-site transport and deposition of glyphosate and AMPA by water erosion onto the soil surface can be considerable, with the consequent pollution risk of off-target terrestrial environments.