Mesure de l'intensité et de la sélectivité du bronzage zooplanctonique diurne et nocturne sur le peuplement physoplanctonique de la retenue Al Massira (Maroc)
M. Moncef, M. Malki, A. Fahde et J. Devaux
FR : La retenue de barrage Al Massira (Maroc) constitue une pièce maîtresse dans le plan d'aménagement du bassin versant de l'Oum Er Rbia. Elle se situe dans la province de Settat, à 120 km au sud-est de Casablanca. La mesure de l'intensité du broutage zooplanctonique sur le peuplement phytoplanctonique a été réalisée à trois périodes différentes; le 20 mars 1992 d'une part et les 27 et 28 mai 1992 d'autre part, avec respectivement des mesures de jour et de nuit . Pour cela, une analyse de l'évolution des densités phytoplanctoniques au sein d'enceintes immergées in situ à 5 et 15 m pendant 8 heures, en absence (enceintes témoins) et en présence (enceintes expérimentales) de zooplancton, a été réalisée. Les résultats obtenus montrent que:- La technique adoptée est performante dans la mesure où les différences entre les densités algales entre les temps initial et final sont en général significatives dans les deux enceintes. - Conformément aux données de la littérature, le broutage apparaît bien comme sélectif; de nombreuses espèces n'apparaissant pas être consommées. - La sélection effectuée par le zooplancton est principalement basée sur la taille des cellules. Toutefois, à tailles égales, certaines espèces phytoplanctoniques semblent être consommées préférentiellement par les copépodes. - Seules les espèces algales présentant un développement important dans les enceintes témoins sont soumises à la prédation.
EN : The Al Massira reservoir, located in the district of Settat 120 km south-east of Casablanca, is of great importance notably at the level of the management of the Oum Er Rbia River-catchment basin.Several grazing experiments were performed to assess the intensity of phytoplankton predation by zooplankton species, on 20 March l992, 27 and 28 May 1992, respectively, over the day and the night. Two enclosures were used and incubated in situ at 5 and 15 m over 8 hours, The first enclosure consisted of a mixture of several phytoplankton and zooplankton species. The second was free of zooplancton.The results clearly demonstrated that the technique used in this work seemed to be effective in that a signifïcant difference between the initial and final numbers of phytoplankton species incubated in the enclosure was detected. In addition, we confirmed several literature reports relative to the selective characteristics of herbivore predation on algae: large phytoplankton (e.g., Peridinium cinctum, Ceratium hirundinellaand Staurastrum pingue) were not affected. The grazing pressure depended on the size of preys and on the exudates released by the physiofogically active small phytoplankton species (e.g., Oocystis crassa, Cyclotella sp.) evolving in the enclosures. Among small preys, only species with high growth rate (estimed in the control flask, e.g., Cosmarium sp. and Tetraedron sp.) were subjected to the zooplankton predation. The copepod nightgrazing was lower than that recorder during the day, probably due to a decrease in their ability to detect preys in the dark.Our result contradict several results obtained by the method of NANEY (1971) according to which grazing increases during the night.Two assumptions may be proposed to explain such a discrepancy:- The zooplankton community of the Al Massira Reservoir was quantitatively dominated by the Calanoid Neolovenula alluaudi.Yet, according to HANEY and HALL (1975), these Copepods showed a slight diel grazing change compared to that of Cladocera. It seemed likely that these temporal variabilities were not statistically significant but rather inherent to the overall internal fluctuation oftlte cell metabolism.- The HANEY (1971) method allows estimation of the water volume per unit time, which transits along the digestive tract of zooplankters. Nevertheless, this technique was mostly performed in markedly stratified natural lakes. From a strictly physiological point of view, and as demonstrated by MC LAREN (1963), organisms which evolved in deep layers (low temperature) became metabolically more active when they reached superficial layers (increased temperature). Clearly, this increase in the cell metabolism abilities is translated into a higher volume of water passing through the digestive tract but not necessarily into an increase in ingested phytoplankton preys. Our results went along with the aforementioned interpretation since we clearly demonstrated an optimal Copepoda-grazing selectivity. However, the selection of preys would not imply a direct relationship between the ingested volume of water and energetic inputs.
P. F. Rasmussen, B. Bobée et J. Bernier
FR : L'estimation du débit QT de période de retour T en un site est généralement effectuée par ajustement d'une distribution statistique aux données de débit maximum annuel de ce site. Cependant, l'estimation en un site où l'on dispose de peu ou d'aucune données hydrologiques doit être effectuée par des méthodes régionales qui consistent à utiliser l'information existante en des sites hydrologiquement semblables au site cible. Cette procédure est effectuée en deux étapes: (a) détermination des sites hydrologiquemcnt semblables(b) estimation régionalePour un découpage donné (étape a), nous proposons trois approches méthodologiques pour comparer les différentes méthodes d'estimation régionale. Ces approches sont décrites en détail dans ce travail. Plus particulièrement il s'agit de- simulation par la méthode du bootstrap - analyse de régression ou Bayes empirique - méthode bayésienne hiérarchique
EN : Estimation of design flows with a given return period is a common problem in hydrologic practice. At sites where data have been recorded during a number of years, such an estimation can be accomplished by fitting a statistical distribution to the series of annual maximum floods and then computing the (1-1/T) -quantile in the estimated distribution. However, frequently there are no, or only few, data available at the site of interest, and flood estimation must then be based on regional information. In general, regional flood frequency analysis involves two major steps:- determination of a set of gauging stations that are assumed to contain information pertinent to the site of interest. This is referred to as delineation of homogeneous regions.- estimation of the design flood at the target site based on information from the sites ofthe homogeneous region.The merits of regional flood frequency analysis, at ungauged sites as well as at sites where some local information is available, are increasingly being acknowledged, and many research papers have addressed the issue. New methods for delitneating regions and for estimating floods based on regional information have been proposed in the last decade, but scientists tend to focus on the development of new techniques rather than on testing existing ones. The aim ofthis paper is to suggest methodologies for comparing different regional estimation alternatives.The concept of homogeneous regions has been employed for a long time in hydrology, but a rigorous detinition of it has never been given. Usually, the homogeneity concerns dimensionless statistical characteristics of hydrological variables such as the coefficient of variation (Cv) and the coefficient of skewness (Cs) of annual flood series. A homogeneous region can then be thought of as a collection of stations with flood series whose statistical properties, except forscale, are not significantly different from the regional mean values. Tests based on L-moments are at present much applied for validating the homogeneity of a given region. Early approaches to regional flood frequency analysis were based on geographical regions, but recent tendencies are to deline homogeneous regions from the similarity of basins in the space of catchment characteristics which are related to hydrologic characteristics. Cluster analysis can be used to group similar sites, but has the disadvantage that a site in the vicinity ofthe cluster border may be closer to sites in other clusters than to those ofits ovm group. Burn (1990a, b) has recently suggested a method where each site has its owm homogeneous region (or region of influence) in which it is located at the centre of gravity.Once a homogeneous region has been delineated, a regional estimation method must be selected. The index flood method, proposed by Dalrymple (1960), and the direct regression method are among the most commonly used procedures. Cunnane (1988) provides an overview of several other methods. The general performance of a regional estimation method depends on the amount of regional information (hydrological as well as physiographical and climatic), and the size and homogeneity of the region considered relevant to the target site. Being strongly data-dependent, comparisons of regional models will be valid on a local scale only. Hence, one cannot expect to reach a general conclusion regarding the relative performance of different models, although some insight may be gained from case studies.Here, we present methodologies for comparing regional flood frequency procedures (combination of homogeneous regions and estimation methods) for ungauged sites. Hydrological, physiographical and climatic data are assumed to be available at a large number of sites, because a comparison of regional models must be based on real data. The premises of these methodologies are that at each gauged site in the collection of stations considered, one can obtain an unbiased atsite estimate of a given flood quantile, and that the variance of this estimate is known. Regional estimators, obtained by ignoring the hydrological data at the target site, are then compared to the at-site estimate. Three difrerent methodologies are considered in this study:A) Bootstrap simulation of hydrologic dataIn order to preserve spatial correlation of hydrologic data (which may have an important impact on regional flood frequency procedures), we suggest performing bootstrap simulation of vectors rather than scalar values. Each vector corresponds to a year for which data are available at one or more sites in the considered selection of stations; the elements ofthe vectors are the different sites. For a given generated data scenario, an at-site estimate and a regional estimate at each site considered can be calculated. As a performance index for a given regional model, one can use, for example, the average (over sites and bootstrap scenarios) relative deviation ofthe regional estimator from the at-site estimator.B) Regression analysisThe key idea in this methodology is to perform a regression analysis with a regional estimator as an explanatory variable and the unknown quantile, estimated by the at-site method, as the dependent variable. It is reasonable to assume a linear relation between the true quantiles and the regional estimators. The estimated regression coeflicients express the systematic error, or bias, of a given regional procedure, and the model error, estimated for instance by the method of moments, is a measure of its variance. It is preferable that the bias and the variance be as small as possible, suggesting that these quantities be used to order different regional procedures.C) Hierarchical Bayes analysisThe regression method employed in (B) can also be regarded as the resultfrom an empirical Bayes analysis in which point estimates of regression coeflicients and model error are obtained. For several reasons, it may be advantageous to proceed with a complete Bayesian analysis in which bias and model error are considered as uncertain quantities, described by a non-informative prior distribution. Combination of the prior distribution and the likelihood function yields through Bayes, theorem the posterior distribution of bias and model error. In order to compare different regional models, one can then calculate for example the mean or the mode of this distribution and use these values as perfonnance indices, or one can compute the posterior loss.
Influence de l'ordre d'introduction des solutés (Naphtol-2 et Calcium) sur l'adsorption des tensioactifs sur charbon actif F400
S. Souabi, A. Yaacoubi et M. Mazet
FR : L'effet de l'ordre d'introduction des solutés Naphtol-2 et Calcium (N-2 et Ca) sur l'adsorption de tensioactifs par le charbon actif en poudre (CAP) F400 brut a été étudié en discontinu. Les mélanges étudiés sont: le tensioactif anionique dodécyl-sulfate de sodium (DSS) et le N-2; le DSS, le N-2 et le Ca; le tensioactif cationique bromure de benzyldodécyldiméthylammonium (BBDDA) et le N-2 et enfin le BBDDA et Ca. Les résultats expérimentaux montrent tout d'abord que quel que soit l'ordre d'introduction des solutés N-2 et Ca, les concentrations en DSS à l'équilibre sont sensiblement identiques. Par ailleurs, la cinétique d'adsorption du DSS et du BBDDA croît en présence des ions Ca.Cependant, la cinétique d'adsorption du N-2 en présence du DSS diminue ce qui se traduit par une inhibition de l'adsorption du N-2 par le DSS. Quant à l'adsorption du BBDDA en présence du N-2 pour différents ordres d'introduction, le tracé des isothermes de LANGMUIR montre que la capacité maximale d'adsorption Г∞ du BBDDA ne change pas tandis que la constante de LANGMUIR (K) diminue. Par contre la capacité maximale d'adsorption du N-2 ** varie légèrement et passe de 1,67 à 1,5 mmol/g pour différent ordre d'introduction du BBDDA. On note également que Г∞ du N-2 en présence de concentrations croissantes en BBDDA diminue fortement et passe de 1,67 à 0,8 mmol/g.L'ajout de N-2 après 3 heures de contact du BBDDA /CAP ne provoque pas la désorption de ce dernier. Le même comportement a été observé avec le N-2, alors que l'ajout du DSS au mélange N-2/CAP provoque la désorption de celui ci.
EN : The effect of the introduction order of naphtol-2 and calcium (N-2 and ca) on the adsorption of surfactants by raw powdered activated carbon (PAC) F 400 has been studied in a static system, studied mixtures included the anionic surfactant: sodium dodecyl-sulfate (SDS) with N-2 or with N-2 + Ca, and the cationic surfactant beniyldodecyldimethylarnmoniurn bromide (BDDAB) with N-2, or with Ca. The experimental results demonstrate that whatever the order of solute introduction, the SDS concentrations at equilibrium are almost identical. Moreover, the adsorption kinetics of SDS and BDDAB increase in the presence of calcium ions. The adsorption kinetics of N-2 decrease in the presence of SDS, suggesting inhibition of N-2 adsorption by SDS. Concerning the adsorption of BDDAB the presence of N-2, for different introduction orders, plotting of the LANGMIIIR isotherms shows that the maximal BDDAB adsorption capacity Г∞, does not change but the LANGMUIR constant (K) decreases. For naphtol-2, however the maximal adsorption capacity Г∞, does vary slightly, going from l,67 to l.5 mmol/g for different BDDAB introduction orders. In the presence of increasing BDDAB concentrations, the maximum adsorption capacity of N-2 decreases from 1.67 to 0.8 mmol/g.The addition of N-2 after 3 hours of BDDAB/PAC contact does not lead to BDDAB desorption. similar behavior is observed on addition of N-2 after 3 hours of SDS/PAC contact, even though the addition of SDS to a N-2/PAC mixture leads to N-2 desorption.
Étude de la contamination par les métaux lourds du champ d'épandage des eaux usées de la ville de Marrakech (Maroc)
S. Mazlani, A. Maarouf, A. rada, M. El Meray et J. C. Pihan
FR : La bioconcentration du Zn, Cu et Cd a été étudiée chez Melanopsis praemorsa L. (Gastéropode prosobranche) provenant de deux sites d'une khettara située dans le champ d'épandage des eaux usées de la ville de Marrakech. Les khettaras représentent un système d'irrigation traditionnel que l'on trouve dans certaines zones arides et semi-arides de la région ouest-paléarctique. L'eau est mise à jour par drainage de la nappe phréatique. Le degré de contamination de ce gastéropode s'avère très élevé et les teneurs métalliques augmentent de l'hiver à l'été. Les causes de la variabilité des concentrations métalliques chez les gastéropodes des deux stations ont été recherchées par des expériences de transplantation, et par des dosages de métaux au niveau du sédiment, de la spirogyre et du périphyton installé sur des substrats artificiels. Les résultats obtenus montrent que les différences entre les concentrations métalliques accumulées par les Melanopsis dans les deux stations pourraient être attribuées à la spéciation du métal dans l'eau. D'autres facteurs peuvent être mis en cause et méritent d'être précisés.
EN : Molluscs are well known for their capacity to bioaccumulate heavy metals from water or sediments. This study involves an evaluation of the contamination level of the undergroud and surface waters from a specific irrigation system known as a « khetarra », located near the town of Marrakech (Morocco). Khettaras represent a traditional systern by means ofwhich the ground water is drained to the surface and then can be used as drinking water or for irrigation in some arid and semi-arid areas. The bioindicator chosen was the gasteropod Melanopsispraemorca L. Two stations (Kl and K2) were investigated in a khettara located in spreading Marrakech waste water. The contamination of soils and water by heavy metals, eipecially Zn, Cu and Cd was first described by EL MEZD1 (1985) and SEDKI(1990).The studied khettara (1500 m. in length) is contaminated in two different ways: first by infiltration of waste water from the Seguia system and secondly directly by over-flow and escape of a main common sewer which crosses over the khetarra between the Kl andK2 stations.At each station, sediment peripbyton, Spirogyra and M. praemorsa were sampled in different seasons. Each sample was prepared for analysis (S.A.A. varian 475.AA) according to the method described by COSSON (1987). Flame atomization was chosen for Zn and Cu, the grafite furnace for Cd.The main results concern the level of contamination, with a comparison between Kl and K2 stations, the variation in contamination according to the seasons, the dilferent routes of contamination, namely through water or by the trophic chaîn (periphfion and Spirogyra).The degree of contamination in M. praemona is signifïcatively higher at the Kl station, with the following ranking: Zn> Cu> Cd (fig. 2, 3 and 4). Compared with other literature data: FORSTNER et al., 1981; RADA, 1985; COSSON, 1987; PIP, 1992, the upper concentrations are the highest.The metal concentrations increase from winter to summer, with significant differences between winter and spring or summer values at Kl for Zn, Cu, Cd; the same distinction, but only for Zn and Cd at K2 station.The causes of variation in metal concentrations in the gasteropods from the two sites were investigated,by in situ cotransplantation experiences and by measuring metaflic concentrations in sediments, periphyton and Spirogyra. Results show that differences in gasteropod metal concentrations between sites appear to be related to differences in aqueous metal speciation. The data concerning the food chain show that metallic concentrations are higher for periphyton and, Spirogyra living at Kl station, this according to the data for M. praemorsa.In contrast, the level of contamination in sediments is higher at K2 station. The most probable hypothesis is that organic and suspended matter, present at a higher level in this station, bind the heary metals and reduce their bioavailability.The cotransplantation between Kl and K2 stations shows that the individuals transferred from Kl to K2 station for 15 days cease to bioaccumulate Zn and Cd. A detoxification process occurs for these two metals but not for Cu, which continues to increase; thus, bioavailability of different metals at the same station is not equivalent. On the other hand the individuals transferred from K2 to Kl station do not increase their Zn, Cu or Cd concentrations even after 30 days. Concerning this fact FRAZIER and GEORGE (1983) suggest the possibility of an adaptation to initial conditions.It seems that many other factors influence metal bioaccumulation and merit further study, e.g.: the size and the age of individuals, the biological cycle with the period of reproduction ; the interaction of abiotic factors: T°, salinity, dissolved orygen, turbidity, lighting.
Essais de quantification du débit des résurgences sous-marines autour du Piton de la Fournaise (la Réunion, Océan Indien)
E. Soler, G. de Marsily, C. Jusserand et J. J. Bourrand
FR : On étudie, par des mesures en plongée sous-marine, les émergences en mer des écoulements souterrains dans le Piton de la Fournaise (île de la Réunion) dans le cadre de recherches sur les relations entre circulations souterraines, flux de chaleur et phénomènes magmatiques. On établit:- que l'ensemble des émergences se situe au niveau du rivage, et non en profondeur- que grâce à des mesures approchées des phénomènes de mélange des eaux, on peut estimer le débit moyen des résurgences en mer à 0,4 m3s-1 par kilomètre de côte sur la façade sud de l'île. Ce chiffre est cohérent avec des estimations indirectes obtenues à partir du bilan hydrique.
EN : The « Piton de la Fournaise » on the island of la Réunion receives as much as 6 to 10 m y-l of rainfall, which almost immediately infiltrates due to the highly pervious nature of the basalt (microfissures, scoria). Very few springs or rivers drain the systeml however, numerous marine outlets have been observed by infrared thermographic surveys. Some of these outlets can also be observed on SPOT images, although no infrared charmel is available on SPOT.In an attempt to study the role of underground flow in the thermal balance of the volcano and its relation with magmatic phenomena, we have tried to observe the nature of these outlets by underwater exploration and to evaluate their flow rate by salinity and temperature mesurements.Longitudinal and transverse salinity profiles were measured by divers using a salinity-conductivity meter with automatic correction of temperature, transported in a waterproof container, on those plumes that had been observed on airborne images or by helicopter surveys.All the observed plumes are indeed mixing zones of seawater and freshwater, with salinity ranging from 29.9 to 35.1 %o (ocean salinity is35.2%o at la Réunion). Their temperature is in general lower than that of the sea, which explains why they are visible on infrared irnages.It was found, however, that all outlets are systematically situated very close to the shore line, with an elevation between + 1 and - 2 m of sea level. In none of the observations were outlets found that could originate deeper down in the sea. Most observable oulets are located at the base of basalt flows, in natural « tunnels » under such lava flows. This is consistent with the existence of an abrupt interface between seawater and freshwater on the island, which has been observed in a fewboreholes, and which forces the freshwater flow upwards towards the shore line, even if the nature of the flow is very discontinuous in the basalt.Based on the salinity profiles, we have attempted to estimate the flow rate. We focus here on a particular outlet at Vincendo. We liken the development and mixing of the plume to what occurs in an estuary with low flow. It has been observed that three mechanisms control the mixing in an estuary: wind which creates currents and pushes freshwater toward the edges; tidal effects and waves creating currents and turbulent mixing due to rugosity of the sides and bottom; density difrerences between seawater and freshwater, the latter floating on top of the former. Three cases are generally considered:a - Seas without tide: the interface is stratified;b - Seas with small tides: stratification and mixing occur sirnultaneously;c - Seas with large tides: no stratification and regular mixing in the vertical dimension.The observed salinity profiles at Vincendo clearly indicate that we are in the second case at la Réunion, where the tide amplitude is small (0.7 m).Two dimensionless numbers are used in estuaries: the Richardson and Froude numbers (see expression in text) (FISHER et al., 1979). It has been observed that the transition from case a to c corresponds to Richardson numbers in the range 0.08 to 0.8. Assuming that salinity profiles are consistent with case b, i.e. a Richadson number in the range 0.25 - 0.80, we find that the freshwater flowrate should be in the range 0.020 - 0.260 m3. s-1.A second independent estimation can be obtained by observing that the average concentration gradient in the 7,000 m2 of the obseved mixing zone (30 x 40 m) is on the order of 0.3 kg. m-3. m-1. Selecting (from FISCHER et al., 1979) a turbulent dispersion coefficient for coastal watcrs over the scale of several thousand m2 of 2 to 5 x 10-3 m2. s-1, we can estimate the vertical dispersive flux over the mixing zone and, by mass balance, we obtain another estimate of the flux in the range 0.150 - 0.400 m2. s-1.We conclude that the flowrate is on the order of 0.150 m3.s-1, with a plausible range of 0.100 - 0.300 m3.s-1.These results were extrapolated to the entire South and East shores ofthe island by assuming that the flow rate of an outlet was proportional to its area as observed on infrared surveys. We obtain an average flux of 0,4 m3.s-1 km-l for the southern flank of the volcano. This ligure is consistent with a global estimate (0,6 m3.s-1km-l) obtained by a surface hydrologic balance over this part of the volcano. The difference can represent diffuse outlets into the sea.
FR : On présente une analyse critique des modèles décrivant les transferts d'eau et de substances chimiques dans les sols partiellement saturés en eau. Pour la clarté de l'exposé, ces derniers sont classés en modèles déterministes (mécanistes et fonctionnels) et stochastiques. Les avantages et limites de ces différentes approches sont discutés. Finalement quelques recommandations et voies de recherche relatives à ce domaine sont suggérées.
EN : The importance ofthe unsaturated (vadose) zone as an inextricable part of the hydrologic cycle has long been recognized. Theoretical and experimental studies on both water flow and solute transport in this zone have been further motvated by attempts to manage the root zone of agricultual soils optimally as well as by concerns about soil and groundwater pollution. These studies have greatly increased our conceptual understanding of the many complex and interactive physical, chemical and microbiological processes operating in the unsaturated zone. They have also led to a large number of models which vary widely in their conceptual approach and degree of sophistication, and are strongly influenced by the environment training and preoccupations of their developers.A number of conceptual models for solute transport in partially saturated soils are reviewed and categorized. A key distinction is made between deterministic models which assume that a system behaves in such a way that the occurrence of a given set of events leads to a uniquely definable outcome, and stochastic models, which presuppose the outcome to be uncertain and are structured to account for this uncertainty. A second main distinction is between mechanistic and functional models. Mechanistic implies that the model takes into account the most fundamental mechanisms of the processes, as presently known and understood (e.g. Darcy's law for water flow, combination of mass-flow and difrusion-dispersion mechanisms for solute transport). The term functional refers to models that incorporate simplified treatments of solute and water and make no claim to fundamentality. However, their use requires less input data and computer expertise as compared to mechanistic models.Additionally, it may be useful to distinguish between models that are primarily research tools (most of the mechanistic models) developed either to aid the testing of assumptions or to contribute to better understanding of the physical processes, and those (functional models) that are mainly useful as guides to the management of soil and water resources.Although no attempt is made here at an exhaustive litterature review, the main features, the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are presented and discussed. This analysis and other reviews published in recent years have revealed progress in many areas. Investigators have uncovered a number of inadequacies with existing models of soil transport processes and have made significant steps toward a better understanding of these phenomena. Some new research areas such as biodegradation modeling, immiscible phase transport, water and solute transfers in structured or swelling soils, and multi-interative ion transport are emerging.A number of challenges still remain for both the theoretician and the practitioners. They include: i) how best to deal with preferential water flow and transport, ii) how best to model the effects of local and regional spatial and temporal variabilities of soil hydraulic properties on solute transport, iii) how to couple multi-component geochemical submodels efliciently with available unsaturated-saturated flow modes, iv) how to improve field methods for estimating vadose zone transport parameters and v) how best to predict the long-term consequences of short-term management decisions.It is apparent that the complexity and variety ofthe physical processes have led to increasing specialization within the area of transport modeling. Soil physicists, soil chemists, soil microbiologists and agronomists have the propensity to limit their consideration and vision to their respective disciplines. A natural consequence of this specialization has been the evolution of scientific jargon specific to each subdiscipline. This may be overcome by reinforcing interdisciplinary cooperation among investigatory by training of students both at the graduate and postgraduate levels and by encouraging topical workshops and publications in interdisciplinary journals. Another general observation gleaned from this review is that very few solute transport models have been exhaustively tested under field conditions. Indeed, the quantitative criteria for validating models do not seem to be clearly identified or universally recognized. It appears very important that such criteria should be established and used to make an objective comparison of the abilities of the various types of model to simulate the results of field experiments. Without such tests and without comparisons between models there is a risk that disagreements between the predictions of different models and the resulting confusion could greatly diminish the usefulness of modeling techniques. While computer codes excalate in number as pressures mount for improved managements strategies it is time for asking the question: should the scientific community continue to develop more and more sophisticated general or even spectific models or should it put an emphasis on field experiments ? Obtaining an answer will probably be ofgreat importance in the near future. As a matter of fact, because of decreasing computer costs and relative increase in the cost of carefully designed field experiments, there is a worldwide trend to « observe the water and solute movements through computer screens » ! The modelers should be aware that without reliable estimates of the input parameters as well as in-situ validation their models will appear more as intellectual games of academic interest rather than as tools to help the practitioners in their management decisions.
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