Modeling concentration-dependent sorption - Desorption hysteresis of atrazine in a sandy loam soil

Ihuaku Anagu*, Joachim Ingwersen, Yaron Drori, Benny Chefetz, Thilo Streck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nonequilibrium sorption plays an active role in the transport of organic contaminants in soil. We applied a two-stage, onerate model (2S1R) and a new, nonlinear variant (2S1RN) of this model to examine the effects of wastewater irrigation on the sorption kinetics of atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6- isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine) in soil. The models were applied to previously published sorption - desorption data sets, which showed pronounced deviations between sorption curves and desorption curves (sorption - desorption hysteresis). Moreover, the slopes of the desorption curves decreased with decreasing concentration. Different treatments had been used, and two experimental time steps (2 and 14 d) were used. Treatments considered were lipid removal, fulvic and humic acid removal, and untreated soil. The 2S1R model was unable to reproduce the observed type of hysteresis, but the 2S1RN model, which assumes that the sorption - desorption process follows a power function relationship, was able to reproduce the observed type of hysteresis. Visually, applying the new model improved the model fits in all test cases. Statistically, as tested by an extra sum of squares analysis, the new model performed significantly better in 50% of all test cases. According to an example simulation, the choice of the sorption model has a considerable impact on the prediction of atrazine transport in soil.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)538-547
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


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