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Research group mathematics in industry and technology
Research group mathematics in industry and technology

Project

Simulation of the Glyphosate Aerial Spray Drift at the Ecuador-Colombia border


Glyphosate is one of the herbicides used by the Colombian government to spray coca fields close to the Ecuadorian border. The sprays have been taking place for a number of years and have been more frequent since 2000 (when "Plan Colombia" started).

Plane spraying forest
(Image source: Wikipedia)

The spray drifts into Ecuadorian territory have become a big issue for people living close to the border. Their negative impact on health and agriculture have been observed and confirmed by intensive studies (e.g. [Avila et. al.  2007]). Hence, in 2005 Ecuador and Colombia signed an agreement to stop the sprays along a 10 km stripe at the border. However, measurements on Ecuadorian territory indicate that significant amounts of Glyphosate spray have still drifted into Ecuador.
The main goals of this project are to develop a (reverse) numerical simulation of the spray drift, analyze whether the 10 km range is enough to protect Ecuadorian territory and assess whether the agreement has been respected.

Spraying along Ecuador-Colombia border
Illustration of 10 km strip along the Ecuador-Colombia border. (Airplane not to scale.)

The video presented below gives a survey of the problems at hand and briefly introduces the strategy propose to solve it.


Promotional video for the project.

The video has been part of a project presentation open to the public in the Centro de Exposiones Quito in Ecuador. The spanish original version is available here.

Posters related with the project

  • presentation poster ; Feria SENACYT 2009;Centro de Exposiciones Quito, december 11.-13. 2009 Quito Ecuador

Researchers:

Prof. Dr. Hermann Mena (project director, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador)
Prof. Dr. Peter Benner (TU Chemnitz, Germany)
Dr. Rene Schneider (TU Chemnitz, Germany)
Dr. Jens Saak (TU Chemnitz, Germany)

Funded by:

SENACYT (Ecuadorian National Organization of Science)
Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

Press Articles