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Watershed regressions for pesticides (WARP) for predicting atrazine concentration in Corn Belt streams

June 21, 2011

Watershed Regressions for Pesticides (WARP) models, previously developed for atrazine at the national scale, can be improved for application to the U.S. Corn Belt region by developing region-specific models that include important watershed characteristics that are influential in predicting atrazine concentration statistics within the Corn Belt. WARP models for the Corn Belt (WARP-CB) were developed for predicting annual maximum moving-average (14-, 21-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day durations) and annual 95th-percentile atrazine concentrations in streams of the Corn Belt region. All streams used in development of WARP-CB models drain watersheds with atrazine use intensity greater than 17 kilograms per square kilometer (kg/km2). The WARP-CB models accounted for 53 to 62 percent of the variability in the various concentration statistics among the model-development sites.
The 95-percent prediction intervals are well within a factor of 10 above and below the predicted concentration statistic. WARP-CB model predictions were within a factor of 5 of the observed concentration statistic for over 90 percent of the model-development sites. The WARP-CB residuals and uncertainty are lower than those of the National WARP model for the same sites. The WARP-CB models provide improved predictions of the probability of exceeding a specified criterion or benchmark for Corn Belt streams draining watersheds with high atrazine use intensities; however, National WARP models should be used for Corn Belt streams where atrazine use intensities are less than 17 kg/km2 of watershed area.

Publication Year 2011
Title Watershed regressions for pesticides (WARP) for predicting atrazine concentration in Corn Belt streams
DOI 10.3133/ofr20111141
Authors Wesley W. Stone, Robert J. Gilliom
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2011-1141
Index ID ofr20111141
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Indiana Water Science Center