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

Atrazine and Alachlor Transport in Claypan Soils as Influenced by Differential Antecedent Soil Water Content


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 4, p. 1599-1607
    Received: Sept 5, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): AndersonS@missouri.edu
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  1. H. V. Kazemib,
  2. S. H. Anderson *a,
  3. K. W. Goynea and
  4. C. J. Gantzera
  1. b Karaj Agricultural College, Univ. of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
    a Dep. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences, 302 ABNR Building, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7250


Increased attention to ground water contamination has encouraged an interest in mechanisms of solute transport through soils. Few studies have investigated the effect of the initial soil water content on the transport and degradation of herbicides for claypan soils. We investigated the effect of claypan soils at initial field capacity vs. permanent wilting level on atrazine and alachlor transport. The soil studied was Mexico silt loam (fine, smectitic, mesic Aeric Vertic Epiaqualf) with a subsoil clay content, primarily montmorillonite, of >40%. Strontium bromide, atrazine, and alachlor were applied to plots; half were at field capacity (Wet treatment), and half were near the permanent wilting point (Dry treatment). Soil cores were removed at selected depths and times, and cores were analyzed for bromide and herbicide concentrations. Bromide, atrazine, and alachlor were detected at the 0.90-m depth in dry plots within 15 d after experiment initiation. Bromide was detected 0.15 m deeper (P < 0.05) in the Dry compared with the Wet treatment at 1, 7, and 60 d after application and >0.30 m deeper (P < 0.01) in the Dry treatment at 15 and 30 d after application; similar treatment results were found for atrazine and alachlor, although on fewer dates with significant differences. The mobility order of the applied chemicals was bromide > atrazine > alachlor. The atrazine apparent half-life was significantly longer in the Dry plots compared with the Wet plots. The retardation factor determined from the relative velocity of each herbicide to that of bromide was higher for alachlor than for atrazine. This study identifies the impact that shrinkage cracks have for different moisture conditions on preferential transport of herbicides in claypan soils.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America