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Biological Significance and Fate of Atrazine under Aquifer Conditions

  • Glenn R. Wehtje (a1), Roy F. Spalding (a1), Orvin C. Burnside (a1), Stephen R. Lowry (a1) and J. Robert C. Leavitt (a1)...

Abstract

Concentrations of atrazine [2-chloro-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine] in contaminated groundwater recovered from 41 monitoring wells in Hall and Buffalo counties, Nebraska range from 0.01 to 8.29 μg/L. Over a 1-year period concentrations fluctuated sufficiently in a seasonal pattern to indicate that atrazine dissipation occurs. This reduction in concentration can be attributed to adsorption, dispersion, and degradation. A limited amount of atrazine degraded chemically to hydroxyatrazine [2-hydroxy-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine] under simulated aquifer conditions; microbial degradation could not be detected. A geometrical progression model for predicting long term residue accumulation indicates that current contamination levels probably reflect a steady-state situation between the amount that yearly enters into, and the partial degradation that occurs within, the aquifer. Oat (Avena sativa L. ‘Neal’) bioassays indicate that present levels of groundwater contamination remain well below the threshold necessary for phytotoxicity.

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Keywords

Biological Significance and Fate of Atrazine under Aquifer Conditions

  • Glenn R. Wehtje (a1), Roy F. Spalding (a1), Orvin C. Burnside (a1), Stephen R. Lowry (a1) and J. Robert C. Leavitt (a1)...

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