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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Vadose Zone Processes and Chemical Transport

Movement of Diuron and Hexazinone in Clay Soil and Infiltrated Pond Water


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 6, p. 2005-2017
    Received: July 1, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): tlprichard@ucdavis.edu
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  1. Terry Prichard *a,
  2. John Troianob,
  3. Joe Maradeb,
  4. Fengmao Guoc and
  5. Mick Canevaria
  1. a Univ. of California, 420 S. Wilson Way, Stockton, CA 95215
    b Environmental Monitoring Branch, Dep. of Pesticide Regulation, California EPA, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
    c California Dep. of Water Resources, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236-0001


Pre-emergence herbicide residues were detected in domestic wells sampled near Tracy, CA. This study sought to determine the source of contamination by comparing soil distribution of diuron [N′-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N,N-dimethylurea] and hexazinone [3-cyclohexyl-6-(dimethylamino)-1-methyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4(1H,3H)-dione] in an agricultural field where the soil was a cracking clay to infiltration of residues in water captured by an adjacent holding pond. Diuron and hexazinone were applied in December to a 3-yr-old alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) crop. Water content of soil taken after major rainfall but before irrigation at 106 d after application was elevated at the lowest depth sampled centered at 953 mm, indicating water was available for percolation. Herbicide residues (reporting limit 8 μg kg−1) were confined above the 152 mm soil depth, even after subsequent application of two border-check surface irrigations. The pattern of distribution and concentration of residues in the soil were similar to results obtained from the LEACHM model, suggesting that macropore flow was limited to a shallow depth of soil. Herbicide residues were measured in runoff water at the first irrigation at 20 μg L−1 for diuron and 1 μg L−1 for hexazinone. Runoff water captured in the pond rapidly infiltrated into the subsurface soil, causing a concomitant rise in ground water elevation near the pond. Herbicide residues were also detected in the sampled ground water. We concluded that the pond was the predominant source for movement to ground water. Since addition of a surfactant to the spray mixture did not reduce concentrations in runoff water, mitigation methods will focus on minimizing infiltration of water from the pond.

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Copyright © 2005. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA