Field dissipation, soil movement and laboratory leaching studies were performed to elucidate the effect of two rainfall amounts in the behaviour and environmental fate of simazine under climatic conditions at Casablanca Valley, Chile. Dissipation and soil movement were studied in a field vineyard with a sandy loam soil (Inceptisol; 74.08% sand; 14.87% silt and 11.04% clay). Simazine was applied to bare soil at 2.0 kg AI ha(-1), and its concentration was measured using immunoassay (ELISA) at 0, 10, 20, 40 and 90 days after application under two rainfall amounts, natural field conditions (39 mm) and modified conditions (39 + 180 mm). Simazine leaching was studied using soil core PVC lysimeters (0.9 m height; 0.22 m diameter). Field dissipation data were adjusted with a bi-exponential model. Half-life (DT(50)) values varied between 31.3 (+/-2.5) and 19.0 (+/-4.2) days under natural and modified conditions, respectively. Simazine K(d) varied from 0.42 to 2.15 (K(oc) 32.6-216.2) in the soil profile. Simazine was detected at a 90-cm soil depth in concentrations of 0.0085 (+/-0.0043) mg kg(-1) and 0.0321 (+/-0.001) mg kg(-1) under field and modified conditions, respectively. The maximum simazine leachate concentrations were 0.013 (+/-0.00084) mg litre(-1) (0.012% of total applied simazine) and 0.0084 (+/-0.00082) mg litre(-1) (0.11% of total applied simazine) for field and modified conditions respectively. These data indicate that water quantity has a significant effect on the DT(50) and the amount of simazine that moved through the soil profile, but not on the soil depth reached by this herbicide.
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