1. General Model Information

Name: Non-steady state model of waterflow and solute transport in

Acronym: MACRO

Main medium: terrestrial
Main subject: hydrology, biogeochemistry
Organization level: Ecosystems
Type of model: partial differential equations (finite differences,1D)
Main application:
Keywords: water flow, solute transport, macroporous field soils, unsaturated water flow, saturated water flow, multi-region flow, canopy interception, root water uptake, two domain model, transient state, richards equation, convection-dispersion equation, sink terms, interacting pore domains, finite difference numerics


Nicholas Jarvis
Swedish University of Agricultural Science
Department of Soil Sciences

P.O.-Box 7072
S-75007 Uppsala

Phone: +46-18-672795
Fax : +46-18-671174
email: Nicholas.Jarvis@mv.slu.se


Nicholas Jarvis


contents of the model
MACRO is a deterministic model of non-steady state water and solute transport in macroporous field soils, which includes a comprehensive treatment of the field water balance while dealing with vertical unsaturated soil water flow, rainfall interception, root water uptake, canopy interception and saturated fluxes to tile drains. It can be used to simulate non-reactive tracers (such as bromide or chloride), tritium or pesticides and includes descriptions of processes such as convective-dispersive transport, canopy interception and washoff, sorption, biodegradation and plant uptake. Its development is a reaction to the today increasing concern over the pollution threat to surface and groundwaters posed by the use of agricultural chemicals.
principles of the model
The model may be run in either one or two flow domains with no change in the hydraulic properties assumed to characterize the soil. This allows a quantitative evaluation of the impact of macropore flow on solute transport processes. In two domains, macropores and micropores operate as separate, though interacting, flow regions, each characterized by a degree of saturation, a conductivity and a flux. In the one-domain case, the model reduces to the standards Richards' and convection dispersion equations.

II. Technical Information

II.1 Executables:

Operating System(s): Download Page.

II.2 Source-code:

Programming Language(s):

II.3 Manuals:

Online Manual Complete model documentation: Jarvis, Nicholas: MACRO: a model of water movement and solute transport in macroporous soils, Reports and Dissertations 19, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Department of Soil Science (1991).

II.4 Data:

III. Mathematical Information

III.1 Mathematics

This is a list of model equations sorted by their characteristics with hypertext links for more details.

III.2 Quantities

This is a list of model quantities sorted by their characteristics with hypertext links for more details.

III.2.1 Input

III.2.2 Output

IV. References

Andreu, L., Moreno, F., Jarvis, N.J. & Vachaud, G., 1994. Applicationof the model MACRO to water movement and salt leaching in drained and irrigatedmarsh soils, Marismas, Spain. Agricultural Water Management, 25, 71-88.

Andreu, L., Jarvis, N.J., Moreno, F. & Vachaud, G., 1996. Simulatingthe impact of irrigation management on the water and salt balance in drainedmarsh soils (Marismas, Spain). Soil Use and Management, 12, 109-116.

Bergström, L., 1996. Model predictions and field measurements ofChlorsulfuron leaching under non-steady-state flow conditions. Pestic.Sci., 48, 37-45.

Beven, K., Germann, P., 1981.Water flow in soil macropores
Journal of Soil Sciences 32, 15-29.

Boesten, J.J.T.I., van der Linden, A.M.A., 1991.Modeling the influence of sorption and transformation on pesticide leaching and persistenceJournal Environmental quality 20, 425-435.

Bottcher, A.B., Monke, E.J., Huggins, L.F., 1981.Nutrient and sediment loadings from a subsurface drainage system
Trans. ASAE 24, 1221-1226.

Bronswijk, J.J.B., 1988.Modeling of water balance, cracking and subsidence of clay soilsJ. Hydrol. 97, 199-212.

Brooks, R.H., Corey, A.T., 1964.Hydraulic properties of porous media.Hydrology Paper 3, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, pp. 22-27.

Carsel, R.F., Smith, C.N., Mulkey, L.A., Dean, J.D., Jowise, P., 1984.Users manual for the pesticide root model (PRZM)
EPA-600/3-84-109, EPA, Athens, Georgia, USA 1984, pp. 216pp.

Gerwitz, A., Page, E.R., 1974.An empirical mathematical model to describe plant root systemsJ. of Applie Ecology 11 (1974), 773-780.

Gottesbüren, B., Mittelstaedt, W. & Führ, F., 1995 Comparisonof different models to simulate the leaching behaviour of quinmerac predictively.In : Proceedings of the BCPC Symposium `Pesticide movement to water', (eds.A. Walker, R. Allen, S.W. Bailey, A.M. Blair, C.D. Brown, P. Günther,C.R. Leake and P.H. Nicholls), Warwick, 155-160.

Jarvis, N.J., 1994. The MACRO model (Version 3.1). Technical descriptionand sample simulations. Reports and Dissert. 19, Dept. Soil Sci., SwedishUniv. Agric. Sci., Uppsala, Sweden, 51 pp.

Jarvis, N.J., Stähli, M., Bergström, L. & Johnsson, H.,1994. Simulation of dichlorprop and bentazon leaching in soils of contrastingtexture using the MACRO model. J. Environ. Sci. & Health, A29, 1255-1277.

Jarvis, N.J., 1995. Simulation of soil water dynamics and herbicide persistencein a silt loam soil using the MACRO model. Ecol. Model., 81, 97-109.

Jarvis, N.J., Larsson, M., Fogg, P., Carter, A.D., 1995. Validation ofthe dual-porosity model MACRO for assessing pesticide fate and mobilityin soil. In: Proc. BCPC Symposium `Pesticide movement to water', (eds.A. Walker, R. Allen, S.W. Bailey, A.M. Blair, C.D. Brown, P. Günther,C.R. Leake and P.H. Nicholls), Warwick, U.K., 161-170.

Jarvis, N.J., Jansson, P.-E., Dik, P.E., Messing, I., 1991.Modelling water and solute transport in macroporous soil; I. Model description and sensitivityanalysis
J. Soil Sci. 42 (1991), 59-70.

Jarvis, Nicholas, 1991.MACRO: a model of water movement and solute transport in macroporous soilsReports and Dissertations 19, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Department of SoilScience 1991.

Jarvis, Nicholas, 1994.The MACRO model: Technical description and sample simulationsDepartment of Soil Sciences 1991.

Leeds-Harrison, P.B., Shipway, C.J.P., Jarvis, N.J., Youngs, E.G., 1986.The influence of soil macroporosity on water retention, transmission and drainage in a clay soilSoil Use and Management 2, 47-50.

Messing, I., Jarvis, N.J., 1990.Seasonal variations in field-saturated hydraulic conductivity in two swelling clay soils in SwedenJ. Soil Sci. 41, 229-237.

Mualem, Y., 1976.A new model for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated porous mediaWater Resourc. Research 12, 513-522.

Saxena, R.K., Jarvis, N.J. & Bergström, L., 1994. Interpretingnon-steady state tracer breakthrough experiments in sand and clay soilsusing a dual-porosity model. Journal of Hydrology, 162, 279-298.

Steenhuis, T.S., Walter, M.F., 1980.Closed form solution for pesticide loss in runoff waterTrans. ASAE 23, 615-620, 628.

Van Genuchten, M.T., Wierenga, P.J., 1974.Simulation of one-dimensional solute transfer in porous mediaAgricultural Experimental Station Bul. 628, 40pp.

Van Genuchten, M.T., Dalton, F.N., 1986.Models for simulating salt movement in aggregated field soilsGeoderma 38, 165-183.

Van Genuchten, M.T., Wagenet, R.J., 1989.Two-site/two-region models for pesticide transport and degradation: Theoretical developmentand analytical solutions
Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 53 (1989), 1303-1310.

Youngs, E.G., 1980.The analysis of groundwater seepage in heterogeneous aquifersHydrol. Sci. Bull. 25, 155-165.


V. Further information in the World-Wide-Web

VI. Additional remarks

The model is usable for different soils and has already been used with the soils clay, loam and sand. By using appropriate input values simulations with other soils can also be run.

Additional information
Last review of this document by: T. GabeleNov 21th 1997
Status of the document:
last modified by Tobias Gabele Wed Aug 21 21:44:45 CEST 2002

Go back to Register of Ecological Models (R E M)