Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 433–451

Micrometeorological measurement of pesticide vapor flux from bare soil and corn under field conditions


  • L. H. Parmele
    • Northeast Watershed Research Center, SWC, ARS, USDA
  • E. R. Lemon
    • Microclimate Investigations, SWC, ARS, USDACornell University
  • A. W. Taylor
    • U.S. Soils Laboratory, SWC, ARS, USDA

DOI: 10.1007/BF00250662

Cite this article as:
Parmele, L.H., Lemon, E.R. & Taylor, A.W. Water Air Soil Pollut (1972) 1: 433. doi:10.1007/BF00250662


An intensive study was conducted to evaluate the movement of dieldrin and heptachlor vapor from a treated watershed. The successful application of micrometeorological estimates of evapotranspiration using average hourly data indicates that reasonable confidence can be placed on the computation of vertical pesticide flux rates using the equation:
$$P = K_Z \left( {\frac{{\partial p}}{{\partial Z}}} \right)$$
where vertical diffusivity coefficient, Ki, for pesticide vapor is assumed equal to Kz for water vapor as measured by micrometeorological methods.

Total daily pesticide flux can easily be calculated by summing the total estimated flux for each of the 2 or 4 hr observations. Interpretations of within-canopy pesticide flux profiles and evapotranspiration flux rates indicate that the pesticide flux rate during nighttime hours is zero.

No major sources or sinks for pesticide within the crop could be found, and it was concluded that the pesticide vapor flux was directly from the soil itself. Thus, vertical pesticide flux measurements made above the canopy are representative of total vertical flux rates.

It is possible to evaluate the mass horizontal flow and the downwind pattern of adsorption of pesticide vapor on untreated soil as well as dissipation into the atmosphere.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1972