SimpleBox 4.0: Improving the model while keeping it simple .
Chemical behavior in the environment is often modeled with multimedia fate models. SimpleBox is one often-used multimedia fate model, firstly developed in 1986. Since then, two updated versions were published. Based on recent scientific developments and experience with SimpleBox 3.0, a new version of SimpleBox was developed and is made public here: SimpleBox 4.0. In this new model, eight major changes were implemented: removal of the local scale and vegetation compartments, addition of lake compartments and deep ocean compartments (including the thermohaline circulation), implementation of intermittent rain instead of drizzle and of depth dependent soil concentrations, adjustment of the partitioning behavior for organic acids and bases as well as of the value for enthalpy of vaporization. In this paper, the effects of the model changes in SimpleBox 4.0 on the predicted steady-state concentrations of chemical substances were explored for different substance groups (neutral organic substances, acids, bases, metals) in a standard emission scenario. In general, the largest differences between the predicted concentrations in the new and the old model are caused by the implementation of layered ocean compartments. Undesirable high model complexity caused by vegetation compartments and a local scale were removed to enlarge the simplicity and user friendliness of the model.