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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Areal, Vertical, and Temporal Differences in Ground Water Chemistry: II. Organic Constituents1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 9 No. 3, p. 479-483
    Received: Sept 24, 1979

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  1. G. A. Junk2,
  2. R. F. Spalding3 and
  3. J. J. Richard2



Selected organic components in samples collected from monitoring wells and from surface water are shown to follow definite areal, vertical, and temporal trends in concentration. Atrazine (2-chloro-4-[ethylamino]-6-[isopropylamino]-s-triazine), alachlor (2-chloro-2′ ,6′ - diethyl-N-[methoxymethyl]acetanilide) and dieldrin (1,2,3,4,10,10-hexachloro-exo-6,7-epoxy-1,4,4a,5,6,7,8,8a-octahydro-1,4-endo, exo-5,8-dimethanonaphthalene) were measured in 64, 35, and 35 water samples, respectively. The atrazine amounts ranged from < 0.01 to 88 µg/liter. Peak concentrations were observed in shallow well water downgradient from irrigated fields at the end of the irrigation season. The areal and vertical distributions of atrazine are closely associated with those of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), which was measured as an indicator of deep percolation from irrigated croplands. However, temporal variations in atrazine concentrations suggest that it is a nonconservative constituent of ground water. Alachlor and dieldrin amounts were extremely low, being less than 0.1 µg/liter in all but one water sample which was taken from a well located in an excessively well-drained area. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was measured in 95 water samples and the amounts ranged from 0.2 to 4.8 mg/liter. Maximums occurred in shallow wells and there were no seasonal associations with either atrazine or NO3-N. The DOC data suggest percolation from the unsaturated zone and partial removal from solution during vertical transport within the saturated zone.

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