Spatio-temporal variability of water pollution by chlordecone at the watershed scale: what insights for the management of polluted territories?

Mottes Charles, Deffontaines Landry, Charlier Jean-Baptiste, Comte Irina, Della Rossa Pauline, Lesueur Jannoyer Magalie, Woignier Thierry, Adele Georges, Tailame Anne-Lise, Arnaud Luc, Plet Joanne, Rangon Luc, Bricquet Jean-Pierre, Cattan Philippe. 2019. Spatio-temporal variability of water pollution by chlordecone at the watershed scale: what insights for the management of polluted territories?. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 15 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : Chlordecone, applied on soils until 1993 to control banana weevil, has polluted water resources in the French West Indies for more than 40 years. At the watershed scale, chlordecone applications were not homogenous, generating a spatial heterogeneity of the pollution. The roles of climate, hydrology, soil, agronomy, and geology on watershed functioning generate a temporal heterogeneity of the pollution. This study questions the interactions between practices and the environment that induce such variability. We analyzed hydrological and water pollution datasets from a 2-year monitoring program on the Galion watershed in Martinique (French West Indies). We conjointly analyzed (i) weekly chlordecone (CLD) concentration monitored on 3 river sampling sites, (ii) aquifer piezometric dynamics and pollutions, and (iii) agricultural practices on polluted soils. Our results showed that chlordecone pollution in surface waters are characterized by annual trends and infra-annual variations. Aquifers showed CLD concentration 10 times higher than surface water, with CLD concentration peaks during recharge events. We showed strong interactions between rainfall events and practices on CLD pollution requiring a systemic management approach, in particular during post-cyclonic periods. Small sub-watershed with high CLD pollution appeared to be a substantial contributor to CLD mass transfers to the marine environment via rivers and should therefore receive priority management. We suggest increasing stable organic matter return to soil as well as external input of organic matter to reduce CLD transfers to water. We identified hydrological conditions—notably drying periods—and tillage as the most influential factors on CLD leaching. In particular, tillage acts on 3 processes that increases CLD leaching: organic matter degradation, modification of water paths in soil, and allophane clay degradation.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Pollution par l'agriculture, Musa, Insecticide

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Martinique, Antilles françaises

Classification Agris : T01 - Pollution
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 4 (2019-) - Santé des plantes, des animaux et des écosystèmes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Mottes Charles, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ) ORCID: 0000-0003-0766-7855 - auteur correspondant
  • Deffontaines Landry, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ)
  • Charlier Jean-Baptiste, BRGM (FRA)
  • Della Rossa Pauline, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ)
  • Lesueur Jannoyer Magalie, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ)
  • Woignier Thierry, IMBE (FRA)
  • Adele Georges, IRD (FRA)
  • Tailame Anne-Lise, BRGM (FRA)
  • Arnaud Luc, BRGM (FRA)
  • Plet Joanne, Université de Montpellier (FRA)
  • Rangon Luc, IMBE (FRA)
  • Bricquet Jean-Pierre, IRD (FRA)
  • Cattan Philippe, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR GECO (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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