Contaminant transport models should be evaluated over a wide range of conditions to determine their limitations. The models PRZM and GLEAMS have been evaluated many times, but few studies are available in which predicted movement in runoff and percolate were simultaneously evaluated against field data. Studies of this type are essential because pesticide leaching and runoff are mutually dependent processes. For this reason, PRZM-3 and GLEAMS were evaluated for their ability to predict metribuzin concentrations in runoff, sediment, subsurface soil, and pan lysimeters under three field conditions (yard waste compost amended, no-till, and conventional-till) on a Lowell silt loam soil. Sensitive input parameters were either site specific (climatic, soil, and chemical) or calibrated (K-factor, C-factor, curve number). In general, both models under-predicted metribuzin concentration in runoff water, runoff sediment, subplow layer soil (15-75 cm), and pan lysimeter water (75 cm). Contrary to field data, both models predicted that a large percentage (> 50%) of metribuzin would move below the “mixing zone” (top 1 cm) during the first rainfall event after application. Relatively little metribuzin was predicted to move beyond the plow layer (top 15 cm) into the pan lysimeters or subsurface soil throughout the simulation period, possibly due to the lack of a macropore component in the models. High metribuzin concentrations in sediment (field data) indicated that relatively little metribuzin moved below the “mixing zone”, possibly because of hysteresis but much of the metribuzin that did move was quickly transported into the pan lysimeters, probably due to macropore flow. GLEAMS more accurately predicted pesticide concentration in sediment and PRZM predicted subsurface soil concentration somewhat more accurately than GLEAMS. Little difference in accuracy was detected between models on metribuzin concentration in runoff or metribuzin concentration in percolate. Although both models generally under-predicted metribuzin concentration in runoff, runoff transport (mass of metribuzin in runoff) for the study period was over-predicted by both models which emphasizes the importance of accurately predicting herbicide concentration and runoff volume soon after application when the surface pesticide concentrations are highest.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Transactions of the ASAE, v. 42, issue 5, p. 1275-1287.

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Related Content

The work reported in this article was supported by the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director as Journal Article No. 98-05-43.