Herbicides in ground water beneath Nebraska's management systems evaluation area

Roy F. Spalding, Mary E. Exner, Daniel D. Snow, David A. Cassada, Mark E. Burbach, Stephen J. Monson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Profiles of ground water pesticide concentrations beneath the Nebraska Management Systems Evaluation Area (MSEA) describe the effect of 20 yr of pesticide usage on ground water in the central Platte Valley of Nebraska. During the 6-yr (1991-1996) study, 14 pesticides and their transformation products were detected in 7848 ground water samples from the unconfined water table aquifer. Triazine and acetamide herbicides applied on the site and their transformation products had the highest frequencies of detection. Atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4,-diamine] concentrations decreased with depth and ground water age determined with 3H/3He dating techniques. Assuming equivalent atrazine input during the past 20 yr, the measured average changes in concentration with depth (age) suggest an estimated half-life of >10 yr. Hydrolysis of atrazine and deethylatrazine (DEA; 2-chloro-4-amino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine) to hydroxyatrazine [6-hydroxy-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3, 5-triazine-2,4-diamine] appeared to be the major degradation route. Aqueous hydroxyatrazine concentrations are governed by sorption on the saturated sediments. Atrazine was detected in the confined Ogallala aquifer in ultra-trace concentrations (0.003 μg L-1); however, the possibility of introduction during reverse circulation drilling of these deep wells cannot be eliminated. In fall 1997 sampling, metolachlor [2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl) acetamide] was detected in 57% of the 230 samples. Metolachlor oxanilic acid [(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl) (2-methoxy-1-methylethyl) amino]oxo-acetic acid] was detected in most samples. In ground water profiles, concentrations of metolachlor ethane sulfonic acid [2-[(ethyl-6-methylphenyl) (2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)amino]-2-oxo-ethanesulfonic acid] exceeded those of deethylatrazine. Alachlor [2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl)acetamide] was detected in <1% of the samples; however, alachlor ethane sulfonic acid [2-[(2,6-diethylphenyl)(methoxymethyl)amino]-2-oxoethanesulfonic acid] was present in most samples (63%) and was an indicator of past alachlor use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-99
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume32
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Fingerprint

Herbicides
Atrazine
triazine
herbicide
Groundwater
atrazine
alachlor
metolachlor
Triazines
Pesticides
groundwater
Acids
acid
Ethane
Diamines
Sulfonic Acids
pesticide
ethane
Aquifers
confined aquifer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Spalding, R. F., Exner, M. E., Snow, D. D., Cassada, D. A., Burbach, M. E., & Monson, S. J. (2003). Herbicides in ground water beneath Nebraska's management systems evaluation area. Journal of Environmental Quality, 32(1), 92-99.

Herbicides in ground water beneath Nebraska's management systems evaluation area. / Spalding, Roy F.; Exner, Mary E.; Snow, Daniel D.; Cassada, David A.; Burbach, Mark E.; Monson, Stephen J.

In: Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 32, No. 1, 01.01.2003, p. 92-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Spalding, RF, Exner, ME, Snow, DD, Cassada, DA, Burbach, ME & Monson, SJ 2003, 'Herbicides in ground water beneath Nebraska's management systems evaluation area', Journal of Environmental Quality, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 92-99.
Spalding RF, Exner ME, Snow DD, Cassada DA, Burbach ME, Monson SJ. Herbicides in ground water beneath Nebraska's management systems evaluation area. Journal of Environmental Quality. 2003 Jan 1;32(1):92-99.
Spalding, Roy F. ; Exner, Mary E. ; Snow, Daniel D. ; Cassada, David A. ; Burbach, Mark E. ; Monson, Stephen J. / Herbicides in ground water beneath Nebraska's management systems evaluation area. In: Journal of Environmental Quality. 2003 ; Vol. 32, No. 1. pp. 92-99.
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