• BasinBox: a generic multimedia fate model for predicting the fate of chemicals in river catchments

      Hollander, A; Huijbregts, M A J; Ragas, A M J; Meent, D van de (Springer, 2006-05-20)
      Multimedia fate models have proven to be very useful tools in chemical risk assessment and management. This paper presents BasinBox, a newly developed steady-state generic multimedia fate model for evaluating risks of new and existing chemicals in river basins. The model concepts, as well as the intermedia processes quantified in the model, are outlined, and an overview of the required input parameters is given. To test the BasinBox model, calculations were carried out for predicting the fate of chemicals in the river Rhine basin. This was done for a set of 3175 hypothetical chemicals and three emission scenarios to air, river water and cropland soils. For each of these hypothetical chemicals and emission scenarios the concentration ratio between the downstream area and the upstream area was calculated for all compartments. From these calculations it appeared that BasinBox predicts significant concentration differences between upstream and downstream areas of the Rhine river basin for certain types of chemicals and emission scenarios. There is a clear trend of increasing chemical concentrations in downstream direction of the river basin. The calculations show that taking into account spatial variability between upstream, midstream and downstream areas of large river basins can be useful in the predictions of environmental concentrations by multimedia fate models.