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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 20 Feb 2019

Model description paper | 20 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

GLOBAL-FATE: A GIS-based model for assessing contaminants fate in the global river network

Carme Font1, Francesco Bregoli1,a, Vicenç Acuña1, Sergi Sabater1,2, and Rafael Marcé1 Carme Font et al.
  • 1Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA), Emili Grahit 101, 17003 Girona, Spain
  • 2Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Girona, Campus Montilivi, 17071 Girona, Spain
  • acurrent address: Water Science and Engineering Department, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX, Delf, The Netherlands

Abstract. GLOBAL-FATE is an open-source, multiplatform, and flexible contaminant fate model that links human consumption of pharmaceutical-like compounds with their concentration in the river network at the global scale. GLOBAL-FATE simulates human consumption and excretion of pharmaceuticals, the attenuation of the contaminant load in wastewater treatment plants, and runoff and contaminant routing along the river network under steady-state, including first order decay of the contaminant in rivers reaches, lakes, and reservoirs. We provide a comprehensive description of model equations and the overall structure of the model, with particular attention to input/output datasets. GLOBAL-FATE is written in C and can be compiled in any platform, and uses inputs in standard GIS format. Additionally, the model can be run inside QGIS as a plug-in. The model has no built-in working resolution, which depends on the user inputs. We exemplify the application of GLOBAL-FATE solving the global concentration of diclofenac in the river network. A comparison with a dataset of diclofenac concentration observations in rivers suggest that GLOBAL-FATE can be successfully applied in real case modelling exercises. The model is particularly sensitive to the generation of contaminant loads by human pharmaceutical consumption, and also to the processes governing contaminant attenuation in the river network.

Carme Font et al.
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Status: open (extended)
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Carme Font et al.
Carme Font et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
GLOBAL-FATE is an open-source, multiplatform, and flexible model that simulates the fate of pharmaceutical-like compounds in the global river network. The model considers the consumption of pharmaceuticals by humans, differentiates between pharmaceutical load treated in wastewater treatment plants from that directly delivered to streams and rivers, and integrates lakes and reservoirs in calculations. GLOBAL-FATE is a powerful tool for pollutants impact studies at the global scale.
GLOBAL-FATE is an open-source, multiplatform, and flexible model that simulates the fate of...