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A conceptual model of organochlorine fate from a combined analysis of spatial and mid- to long-term trends of surface and ground water contamination in tropical areas (FWI)

Cattan P., Charlier J.B., Clostre F., Letourmy P., Arnaud L., Gresser J., Jannoyer M.. 2019. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 23 : p. 691-709.

DOI: 10.5194/hess-23-691-2019

In this study, we investigated the management of long-term environmental pollution by organic pollutants such as organochlorine pesticides. We set out to identify conditions that are conducive to reducing pollution levels for these persistent molecules and then propose a conceptual model of organochlorine fate in water. Our approach looked at spatio-temporal changes in pollutant contents in surface water (SW) and groundwater (GW) on a large scale, in order to decipher the respective roles of soil, geology, hydrology and past treatment practices. The case of chlordecone (CLD) on the island of Martinique (1100¿km2) was selected given the sampling campaigns carried out since 2007 over more than 150 sites. CLD, its metabolite chlordecone-5b-hydro (5bCLD) and the metabolite-to-parent-compound ratio were compared. As regards the spatial variability of water contamination, our results showed that banana cropping areas explained the location of contaminated SW and GW, whereas the combination of soil and geology factors explained the main spatial variability in the 5bCLD/CLD ratio. For temporal variability, these conditions defined a high diversity of situations in terms of the duration of pollution, highlighting two groups: water draining old geological formations and ferralsols or vertisols vs. recent geology and andosols. A conceptual leaching model provided some key information to help interpret downward trends in CLD and 5bCLD observed in water. Lastly, a conceptual model of organochlorine fate is proposed to explain the diversity of the 5bCLD/CLD ratio in water. Our conclusions highlight the combined role of soil and groundwater residence time for differentiating between conditions that are more conducive, or not, to the disappearance of CLD from the environment. This paper presents a model that provides an overall perception of organochlorine pesticide fate in the environment.

Mots-clés : pollution par l'agriculture; pesticide; martinique

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