Modelling the Fate of Chemicals in Surface Waters

  • Philippe CiffroyEmail author
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 57)


A good knowledge and modelling of the fate of chemicals in surface waters is essential for achieving a holistic risk assessment approach. This chapter describes the processes that should be considered in models simulating the fate of chemicals in natural waters. The first section describes the exchange of chemicals between the dissolved and particulate phases in water and sediments, as well as the simulation of suspended particulate matter concentration. The second section describes mechanistic modelling of chemical exchange between the overlying water column and bottom sediments that results from deposition and/or resuspension of contaminated particles. The third section describes the diffusion of chemical at the interface between surface water and sediment porewater that is classically based on a two-film diffusion description. The fourth section describes absorption and volatilization of semi-volatile substances at the air-water interface that are generally modelled according to the stagnant boundary theory. The fifth section describes processes responsible for degradation (i.e. hydrolysis, photolysis, biodegradation) that are generally aggregated in a global loss rate.


Degradation Deposition Desorption Diffusion Distribution coefficient Modelling Resuspension Sediment Sediment rating curve Sorption Surface waters Suspended particulate matter 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EDF R&D, National Hydraulics and Environment LaboratoryChatouFrance

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