Assessment of groundwater quality recovery strategies using nitrate transport modelling. Application to the Saône alluvial formations (Tournus, Saône-et-Loire)

Jean-Christophe Comte, O. Banton, A. Villard, F. Kockman, G. Creuzot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    To assess the efficiency of different agro-environmental strategies used to reduce groundwater pollution by nitrates, transport modelling in soils and groundwater has been carried out on two withdrawal areas in an alluvial plain. In a first time, the agro-environmental model AgriFlux allowed the simulation of water and nitrates fluxes flowing to groundwater. This model was calibrated for each agro-pedological unit of the studied territory. In a second time, the application of the hydrogeological model MODFLOW-MT3D allowed the simulation of nitrate transport in groundwater for the 1980-2004 period. This soil-groundwater coupled modelling has shown that soil nature is the first factor that conditions the vulnerability to nitrates. Thus, nitrate leaching occurs preferentially under sandy soils. Efficiency of different agro-environmental operations for groundwater quality recovery was quantified. The best results are obtained by combination of (1) grassland re-installation on sandy agricultural lots located in near well protection perimeter and (2) fertilization reduction on sandy agricultural lots located in the well alimentation area upstream the near protection perimeter. On other soils, the effect of grassland on groundwater quality improvement is more limited. Nevertheless, the control of nitrate fertilisation remains essential and is justified in both near and far well protection perimeters. Modelling thus allows optimising and priorizing agro-environmental actions in alluvial agricultural zones. [Comte J.-C., Banton O., Kockmann F., Villard A., Creuzot G. (2006), Assessment of groundwater quality recovery strategies using nitrate transport modelling. Application to the Saône alluvial formations (Tournus, Saône-et-Loire), Ingénieries Eau-Agriculture-Territoires, 45, 15-28]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-28
    Number of pages14
    JournalIngénieries
    Volume45
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

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