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See detailDistribution, leaching and flux measurements of contaminants in the vadose zone of industrial contaminated sites: a review
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg; Vanclooster, Marnik; Brouyère, Serge ULg

Report (2012)

This document is a review of state of science regarding flux measurement technologies in the vadose zone. Initially, a description of distribution and leaching of inorganic contaminants in the vadose zone ... [more ▼]

This document is a review of state of science regarding flux measurement technologies in the vadose zone. Initially, a description of distribution and leaching of inorganic contaminants in the vadose zone is provided. Such description is followed by a review of vadose zone techniques that are applied for measuring contaminant fluxes. At the end of the document the applicability of such techniques to industrial contaminated sites is discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailValorisation de la Carte Numérique des Sols de Wallonie et d’une base de données disponible en analyse de sols, dans le cadre de l’évaluation du risque de pollution des eaux souterraines par les pesticides
Bah, Boubacar Billo ULg; Vanclooster, Marnik; Oger, Robert ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2011), 15(S2), 709-726

This study shows how the Digital Soil Map of Wallonia and the associated soil database Aardewerk can be combined with the MetaPEARL model to assess the sensitivity of agricultural soils to pesticide ... [more ▼]

This study shows how the Digital Soil Map of Wallonia and the associated soil database Aardewerk can be combined with the MetaPEARL model to assess the sensitivity of agricultural soils to pesticide transfer into underground water tables in Wallonia (Southern Belgium). MetaPEARL is based on an analytical expression which describes the concentration of leached pesticides at the soil profile bottom depending on available data on soil characteristics, climate and pesticide properties. The results show an important soil sensitivity to pesticide transfer with a coefficient of retention on organic matter (Kom) very weak (about 10 dm3.kg-1) or with a relatively high half-life time (DT50 about 60 days). In this case, the pesticide is weakly retained by soil organic matter or slowly degraded and then stays available in the soil and can be quickly leached during rainfalls. In other respects, the pesticide sensitivity to leaching is strongly correlated with soil texture and its organic matter content. It is also observed that the concentration of leached pesticide is strongly depending of the rainfall surplus (water flux into the soil or hydrous balance). A sensitivity analysis has shown that the model is very sensitive to soil thickness, to organic matter content, to the bulk density of the mineral fraction by textural classes and of the organic matter. Therefore, these pedological variables have to be assessed with the highest precision to avoid adding further uncertainty to the predictions obtained. On the basis of the most sensitive soil variables, the analysis of “spatial” uncertainty related to the results delivered by MetaPEARL, due to the consideration of an unique representative value by soil type and by region (deterministic approach), shows that this approach tends to under-estimate the concentration of pesticide leached in the soil. And that compared to the use of a stochastic simulation (probabilistic approach) which takes into account the soil characteristic variability within a given soil type. This stochastic approach allows also the calculation of a more relevant threshold of risk probability (percentile) which can be compared to an imposed standard in view to enhance a sustainable management of natural resources. [less ▲]

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See detailPESTEAUX: Implementing MetaPEARL for the Walloon Region in Belgium
Bah, Boubacar Billo ULg; Vanclooster, Marnik; Oger, Robert ULg

Scientific conference (2011, March 29)

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See detailEvaluation de la sensibilité des sols au transfert de pesticides vers les eaux souterraines en Région wallonne (Belgique)
Bah, Boubacar Billo ULg; Mattern, Samuel; Vanclooster, Marnik et al

in Actes des 35èmes Journées du Groupe Francophone Humidimétrie et TraNsferts en milieux poreux (GFHN), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgique, 23-25 novembre 2010 (2010, November)

Cette étude présente l'utilisation du métamodèle MetaPEARL (Tiktak et al., 2006) pour évaluer la sensibilité des sols au transfert des pesticides vers les eaux souterraines en Wallonie. MetaPEARL prédit ... [more ▼]

Cette étude présente l'utilisation du métamodèle MetaPEARL (Tiktak et al., 2006) pour évaluer la sensibilité des sols au transfert des pesticides vers les eaux souterraines en Wallonie. MetaPEARL prédit la concentration de pesticide lixivié au bas du profil pédologique en fonction de données facilement disponibles sur les sols, le climat, et les propriétés des pesticides. MetaPEARL a été appliqué pour quatre pesticides génériques A, B, C et D (FOCUS, 2000). Les résultats obtenus montrent une sensibilité plus importante des sols de Wallonie aux transferts des pesticides de type A et B, permettant ainsi de distinguer des régions relativement contrastées d’un point de vue de la sensibilité de leurs sols au transfert des pesticides vers les eaux souterraines. Ce contraste régional est corrélé d’une part à la variabilité régionale des teneurs en matière organique des sols, et d’autre part au gradient pluviométrique nord-sud observé en Wallonie. On constate également que la concentration en pesticide lixivié est plus importante en automne qu’au printemps. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil surface water content estimation by full-waveform GPR signal inversion in the presence of thin layers
Minet, Julien ULg; Lambot, Sébastien; Slob, Evert C. et al

in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (2010), 48

We analyzed the effect of shallow thin layers on the estimation of soil surface water content using full-waveform inversion of off-ground ground penetrating radar (GPR) data. Strong dielectric contrasts ... [more ▼]

We analyzed the effect of shallow thin layers on the estimation of soil surface water content using full-waveform inversion of off-ground ground penetrating radar (GPR) data. Strong dielectric contrasts are expected to occur under fast wetting or drying weather conditions, thereby leading to constructive and destructive interferences with respect to the surface reflection. First, synthetic GPR data were generated and subsequently inverted considering different thin-layer model configurations. The resulting inversion errors when neglecting the thin layer were quantified, and then, the possibility to reconstruct these layers was investigated. Second, laboratory experiments reproducing some of the numerical experiments configurations were conducted to assess the stability of the inverse solution with respect to actual measurement and modeling errors. Results showed that neglecting shallow thin layers may lead to significant errors on the estimation of soil surface water content ($\Delta\theta$ > 0.03 $m^3/m^3$), depending on the contrast. Accounting for these layers in the inversion process strongly improved the results, although some optimization issues were encountered. In the laboratory, the proposed full-waveform method permitted to reconstruct thin layers with a high resolution up to 2 cm and to retrieve the soil surface water content with an rmse less than 0.02 $m^3/m^3$, owing to the full-waveform inverse modeling. These results suggest that the proposed GPR approach is promising for field-scale mapping of soil surface water content of nondispersive soils with low electrical conductivity and for instances when soil layering is encountered. [less ▲]

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See detailA generalized frequency domain reflectometry forward and inverse modeling technique for soil electrical properties determination
Minet, Julien ULg; Lambot, Sébastien; Delaide, Géraldine et al

in Vadose Zone Journal (2010), 9(4)

We have developed a generalized frequency domain reflectometry (FDR) technique for soil characterization that is based on an electromagnetic model decoupling the cable and probe head from the ground using ... [more ▼]

We have developed a generalized frequency domain reflectometry (FDR) technique for soil characterization that is based on an electromagnetic model decoupling the cable and probe head from the ground using frequency-dependent reflection and transmission transfer functions. The FDR model represents an exact solution of Maxwell’s equations for wave propagation in one-dimensional multilayered media. The benefit of the decoupling is that the FDR probe can be fully described by its characteristic transfer functions, which are determined using only a few measurements. The soil properties are retrieved after removing the probe effects from the raw FDR data by iteratively inverting a global reflection coefficient. The proposed method was validated under laboratory conditions for measurements in water with different salt concentrations and sand with different water contents. For the salt water, inversions of the data led to dielectric permittivity and electrical conductivity values very close to the expected theoretical or measured values. In the frequency range for which the probe is efficient, a good agreement was obtained between measured, inverted and theoretically predicted signals. For the sand, results were consistent with the different water contents and also in close agreement with traditional time domain reflectometry measurements. The proposed method offers great promise for accurate soil electrical characterization because it inherently permits maximization of the information that can be retrieved from the FDR data and shows a high practicability. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a version of GeoPEARL for the Walloon region of Belgium
Bah, Boubacar Billo ULg; Vanclooster, Marnik; Oger, Robert ULg

Scientific conference (2009, November)

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See detailHydrogeological investigations at the Membach station, Belgium, and application to correct long periodic gravity variations
Van Camp, Michel; Vanclooster, Marnik; Crommen, O. et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research (2006), 111(B10),

A comprehensive hydrogeological investigation regarding the influence of variations in local and regional water mass on superconducting gravity measurements is presented for observations taken near the ... [more ▼]

A comprehensive hydrogeological investigation regarding the influence of variations in local and regional water mass on superconducting gravity measurements is presented for observations taken near the geodynamic station of Membach, Belgium. Applying a regional water storage model, the gravity contribution due to the elastic deformation of the Earth was derived. In addition, the Newtonian gravity effect induced by the local water mass variations was calculated, using soil moisture observations taken at the ground surface (about 48 m above the gravimeters). The computation of the gravimetric effect is based on a digital elevation model with spatially discretized rectangular prisms. The obtained results are compared with the observations of a superconducting gravimeter (SG). We find that the seasonal variations can be reasonably well predicted with the regional water storage model and the local Newtonian effects. Shorter-period effects depend on the local changes in hydrology. This result shows the sensitivity of SG observations to very local water storage changes. [less ▲]

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