Leaching of herbicidal residues from gravel surfaces – A lysimeter-based study comparing gravels with agricultural topsoil

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Evidence from the past shows that pesticide use in populated areas may impact groundwater quality. The approval of herbicides such as diflufenican and glyphosate for use on paved and unpaved gravel surfaces in the European Union is based on their behaviour and fate in agricultural soils. However, this might be very different from their fate in gravel surfaces. We therefore conducted an outdoor study with 21 small lysimeters containing different gravel types and a sandy arable topsoil as control. The lysimeters were sprayed with a commercial product for gardening, containing diflufenican and glyphosate. The concentrations of the herbicides and their relevant degradation products in the outlet was followed for 19 months. Diflufenican, glyphosate and AMPA did not leach from any of the lysimeters. However, one diflufenican degradation product (AE-0) leached from two of the gravel types for more than a year and a second degradation product (AE-B) leached from all gravels for up to one year. Concentrations in the leachate peaked at 0.5–3 μg/L, with highest concentrations over the longest periods observed with rock chippings on top of the gravel. We conclude, that the different properties of gravel compared to those of agricultural soils may lead to very different herbicide leaching patterns but also that the leaching depends highly on the type of gravel and type of herbicide.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Pollution
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2020

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