A study was conducted to examine the effects of residence time and temperature on atrazine extractability and degradation in a sediment generated from Emporia sandy loam soil submerged under a water column. Sediments amended with 2.8 μg of atrazine were incubated at two temperatures (5 and 24 C), sampled at 0, 14, 28, 112, 168, 252, and 336 d, and then sequentially extracted once with 80 ml 0.01 M CaCl2 aqueous solution, three times with 25 ml of methanol/water mixture (4:1, v/v), and three times with 25 ml of methanol/water/formic acid (20:5:1, v/v pH 3.2) for a total of seven times. Extracts were analyzed for atrazine and metabolites using reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The rate of bound residue formation was greater at 24 than at 5 C. About 30 and 60% of the 14C was bound (nonextractable) to sediments at 5 and 24 C, respectively. Water was less effective in extracting 14C residues from sediments incubated at 24 C than at 5 C. Acidification of the methanol/water mixture with formic acid during the last extraction step improved the removal of hydroxyatrazine from sediment. Atrazine degraded primarily to hydroxyatrazine (HA) and to a lesser extent to deethylatrazine (DEA). Although no DEA was found, HA at 43 μg kg−1 of sediment was detected 112 d after treatment at 5 C, indicating that chemical degradation could occur at a low temperature if sediments are incubated for extended periods of time. At 24 C, HA was found within 28 d and reached the maximum level at day 252. The results suggested that HA is the major metabolite of atrazine in the sediment; a significant fraction of the residue was unavailable for extraction, and this unextractable portion increased with residence time.